Ed Woodward reveals why Man Utd failed to sign Jude Bellingham and Erling Haaland | Football

Erling Haaland and Jude Bellingham turned down moves to Manchester United (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Former Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has defended the club’s failure to sign Erling Haaland and Jude Bellingham.

Woodward oversaw United’s recruitment during his nine years at the helm at Old Trafford, and was widely criticised throughout his time.

United had grown accustomed to spending big on the wrong players, as well as handing out extortionately overvalued contracts.

United’s recruitment improved under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and it was felt the club were favourites to sign Haaland from RB Salzburg given the Norwegian was handed his debut under Solskjaer at Molde.

However, despite having a £20m release clause in his deal, United lost out to Dortmund. Within three years, Haaland would sign for Manchester City in a £60m deal and he’s scored 71 goals in 77 appearances for the club.

Woodward told ESPN that Haaland was ‘always destined’ to join City, due to his father’s connections with the club.

Erling Haaland and Jude Bellingham

Haaland and Bellingham both joined Dortmund before moving on (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

At the end of that very season, United then saw Jude Bellingham reject them in favour of Dortmund.

The Real Madrid star, then just 16, was welcomed to United’s training ground by Solskjaer and he was flanked by Sir Alex Ferguson and Bryan Robson in a bid to woo the midfielder.

But Woodward says United’s failure to ‘guarantee minutes’ to Bellingham saw him choose Dortmund.

Like Haaland, within three years Bellingham had moved on for a huge fee of £100m to Real Madrid.

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