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Red Bull Salzburg boss Jesse Marsch has admitted Erling Haaland was uncertain about moving away from the club prior to his Borussia Dortmund transfer.
The Norwegian striker completed a £35million switch to cap off an incredible breakthrough season in Austria.
Haaland opted to move to the Bundesliga giants despite interest from some of Europe’s elite, including Man Utd, Juventus and Real Madrid.
But the youngster had several doubts about leaving Salzburg, where he knew he was guaranteed first-team football.
"Erling was uncertain what to do and when,” he told Goal. “He knew that his role in Salzburg was special.
Haaland had reservations about leaving Salzburg
(Image: Getty Images)
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“Red Bull Salzburg was intrinsically important for his development.”
The 19-year-old followed former teammate Takumi Minamino out of the exit door, with the Japanese midfielder heading to the Premier League with Liverpool.
Minamino was six years Haaland’s senior however, which urged for more caution when handling the young forward.
"There were significantly more discussions with Erling,” Marsch added. “Being younger than Taki made it all the more important to deal with the situation properly. It took more work so that he didn't lose focus.”
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Haaland had the bonus of being able to call on the advice of his former professional father Alfe-Inge to navigate his next move.
He has since got off to a roaring start in Germany, netting 12 goals in 11 games.
Speculation surrounding his future has not gone away though, with Madrid thought to be circling for his talents this summer, but it is clear wherever his path takes him, he’ll always have a place back in Austria.
"In the end it is difficult not to understand his decision,” Marsch continued. “The experiences we had with him and his father were wonderful and we will not forget them. We are proud of Erling and its success."