Leipzig sporting director Markus Krosche has explained why the club missed out on the signature of Red Bull Salzburg striker Erling Haaland, and says that he would had to have “fought” for a place in the side.
The 19-year-old agreed a switch to fellow Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund last month, with Leipzig among a long list of clubs who had shown an interest in the Norwegian international.
Leipzig’s sporting director Krosche told Bild the reasons behind their failed attempts to bring in the striker.
“For us, Haaland was a very interesting alternative - especially for the summer,” said Krosche.
“But the player absolutely wanted to change now. And that's where our situation is simply different.
“His agent Mino Raiola called me and said that Erling has decided to join another club.”
After scoring 28 in 22 games for Salzburg, Haaland will now join up with Dortmund on January 3, having signed a contract to keep him at the club until the summer of 2024.
The reported €20 million (£17m/$22m) move was viewed as a cut-price deal by many, but Krosche believes there are further fees involved with the transfer.
“There is basically much more to it than just the transfer fee,” he added. “There is the salary, signing fee, fees for the consultant and clauses on top of it.”
When asked if Haaland would be playing regularly if he had joined Leipzig, Krosche responded: “No, with us there is no playing guarantee for any player! We have strong competition with Timo [Werner], Yussi [Poulsen], [Matheus] Cunha and Patrik [Schick].
“Haaland would have fought for a place in the team with them. Other clubs may have more of a demand for players up front, so it's easier to slide right in.”
Haaland’s new side Dortmund sit fourth in the league standings after an inconsistent first half of the season. They’re seven points behind leaders Leipzig, but now boast one of Europe’s top talents, as well as aiming to keep hold of fellow youngster Jadon Sancho.
As reported by Goal, United were keen on signing Haaland in the January window, with the club eyeing two arrivals this winter to improve their squad.
However, his short-term future now looks to be settled in Germany, with Sancho remaining a target for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.