Seventh-tier Ashton United launch cheeky Haaland loan bid ahead of World Cup break

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Erling Haaland has been subject of a tongue-in-cheek loan bid from non-league Ashton United while Manchester City break for the World Cup.

FIFA's global tournament starts on Sunday in Qatar and leaves a schedule gap for the Premier League as elite-level club football pauses for the action in the Middle East.

Haaland will not be going to the World Cup after Norway failed to qualify, and seventh-tier side Ashton have lodged an offer to keep one of Europe's most prolific talisman fit throughout the break.

"It just makes sense," Michael Clegg told the Northern Premier League Premier Division side's website.

"City aren't playing, and we want to help by keeping Erling fit. It makes more sense than him playing golf for six weeks.

"We think he will be a great fit for us and would slot in with our squad dynamic really well."

The Norway striker has scored 18 top-flight goals this season since leaving Borussia Dortmund, with a further five in cup competitions taking him to 23 strikes.

City manager Pep Guardiola suggested Haaland would be allowed some time to rest before returning to training in early December.

While Ashton are based just over six miles away from City's Etihad Stadium, Clegg's side are keenly awaiting a response from City's delegates as to Haaland's interest in nearby non-league football.

"The club are yet to receive any response from Manchester City," the statement on the website added.

City are not back in Premier League action until a visit to Leeds United on December 28, six days after a crunch fourth-round EFL Cup tie at home to rivals Liverpool.