Ed Woodward’s Mason Greenwood belief may have stopped Man Utd signing Erling Haaland

Premier League title race: Man City stretch lead at top

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Departing Manchester United Chief Executive Officer Ed Woodward’s opinion of Mason Greenwood may have prevented Erling Haaland’s January 2020 arrival. United battled Borussia Dortmund for Haaland when he was at RB Salzburg but dropped out of the race before he moved to Germany.

On Thursday, the Red Devils announced Woodward would step down as CEO and Vice-Executive Chairman on February 1.

Current Managing Group Director Richard Arnold will replace him at the helm after nine years of scrutiny.

United’s recruitment under Woodward since 2013 has been largely unsuccessful, and he’s come under mass criticism for his lack of knowledge when making football decisions.

But he reportedly shares the same view as many supporters when it comes to Greenwood and the potential he possesses.

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According to The Times, Woodward believes the 20-year-old is a great young striker who will guide the club’s future.

He has regularly spoken with staff about his admiration for Greenwood and regards him as the most naturally-gifted player at Old Trafford.

Woodward is confident that two more years of senior experience and maturing will help the number 11 establish himself for club and country.

And his high hopes may be a critical reason why United cooled their interest in Haaland before his Salzburg exit.

The Norway international registered 25 goals and five assists in 23 games for RB Salzburg before joining Dortmund.

And at the time, Mino Raiola’s demands and the prospect of a buy-out clause in Haaland’s contract were thought to put United off.

He was one of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s primary transfer targets as manager, and it was the club legend who oversaw Greenwood’s transition into the first team.

But Woodward may have held concerns over how another long-term striker like Haaland would have stifled his development.

However, since Greenwood’s promotion to the senior squad, United have signed two veteran strikers in Edinson Cavani and Cristiano Ronaldo. While Woodward believes Greenwood is destined for big things, he felt the youngster was not ready yet, which is why he sanctioned deals for other forwards.

Ronaldo and Cavani’s presence has undoubtedly affected his game time at Old Trafford, with most of his minutes in the last 12 months coming on the right-wing.

But both Cavani and Ronaldo likely won’t be at the club in two years, which could be Greenwood’s time to become United’s attacking focal point.

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