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Revealed: The 3 stars Ole Gunnar Solskjaer nearly signed during his time at Manchester United

Ex Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed he wanted to sign several stars before they became World Class, only for the club to opt not to pull the trigger on deals.

Solskjaer, who was in charge of the Red Devils from 2019 to 2021, was giving his first in depth interview about his time at Old Trafford since he was sacked one game short of 150 at the helm.

The 50-year-old has not had another job since and lifted the lid on the situation, explaining that he would be interested in ‘a different challenge where I need to experience a new culture and learn a new language.’

However, much of the focus during his time was on transfers, and Solskjaer revealed that his side missed out on moves for all of Erling Haaland, Jude Bellingham and Moises Caicedo, as well as a discounted offer for now Arsenal man Declan Rice.

‘We couldn’t buy the players I mentioned to the club’, he told the Athletic, before adding that these included: Erling Haaland, before he made his Salzburg debut. Declan Rice, who wouldn’t have cost what he did in the summer. We discussed Moises Caicedo [before he moved to Brighton], but we felt we needed players ready for there and then.’

‘We wanted Jude Bellingham badly — he’s a Man United player, but I respect he chose Dortmund,’ he continued. And that was not the only transfer that nearly happened, with Solskjaer hinting that a move for Harry Kane could have been on the cards.

Each of the players mentioned is now worth well in excess of £100m, with Bellingham, Kane, Caicedo and Rice all having moved over the most recent transfer window for obscene transfer fees.

Had United trusted their manager, they could well have had them far cheaper, and they may not be in the mess that Erik ten Hag currently finds himself in.

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Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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