Erling Haaland is the star of Manchester City, but he came close to being linked with Napoli in 2020 when the Serie A giants had a “done” deal.
The Serie A giants explored a deal with Salzburg
He ended up landing the Nigerian striker
One that escaped him now in the Premier League
WHAT HAPPENED? The Norwegian striker has become one of the hottest properties in world football, with his star on the rise for some time now. It was during a spell with Austrian outfit Red Bull Salzburg that he began to appear on the radar of Europe’s top teams, with Napoli convinced they had a deal for Haaland before being forced to turn their attention to Nigerian international Victor Osimhen. .
WHAT THEY SAID: Napoli’s sporting director, Cristiano Giuntoli, told Corriere dello Sport his “biggest regret” in the transfer market: “The contract with Salzburg was already done, we would have paid his 25 million euro clause. He and Osimhen were our priorities and when Haaland bet on Borussia Dortmund, we went for Victor. For us, they were on the same level.”
THE OVERVIEW: Napoli ended up shelling out a club-record €70m ($61m/$73m) at Osimhen, instead of €25m ($26m/£22m). on Haaland, but found considerable value in that deal as the 23-year-old leader turns heads in Naples.
WHATS NEXT? Osimhen has scored 10 goals for Napoli this season, helping them to the top of the Serie A table, while Haaland has been a revelation in the Premier League for City, finding the goal on 23 occasions in all the competitions.