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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opens up on Manchester United missing out on Jude Bellingham, Declan Rice and Erling Braut Haaland

Former Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed that he wanted the club to buy Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham and Erling Braut Haaland during his time at the club.

The Norwegian joined the Red Devils as a caretaker manager in December 2018 before taking over permanently in March 2019.

Solskjaer was impressed with Rice while the England international was still at West Ham United and he knows Halaand from their time together at Molde.

Bellingham was at Man United to check out their facilities before turning down a move, but it was rejecting the chance to sign the Manchester City hitman that left the former striker gutted.

“Yeah, I really, really like him as a player,” he said on the Stick to Football podcast when asked about Rice.

“We discussed him a few times. I think we would’ve done well with him in midfield. I think his legs, covering the pitch, I think he improved a lot on his playmaking as well.”

Solskjaer also revealed that United could have signed Bellingham, who has since established himself a a top star with Real Madrid.

“Jude, he was in the building,” Solskjaer added. “I was there, Sir Alex Ferguson was there, Bryan Robson and Eric Cantona were all there that day when he came to the club.

“We all spoke to him and sold it to him as well as we could. He knew what he wanted, a certain amount of minutes in the first team. He was 17 at the time, and he was the most mature 17-year-old I’ve ever met in my life – he had it all planned out.”

Man United are looking to land another striker in the summer, but things could have been different had they heeded the advice of their former manager.

Halaand joined Man City last summer and has since bagged 80 goals in 84 appearances. He helped the club win the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup last term.

The Norwegian previously netted 29 goals in 27 matches for Red Bull Salzburg and 86 goals in 89 games for Borussia Dortmund.

He would have hugely improved the Red Devils’s fortunes had they opted to sign him back in 2018.

Solskjaer said: “I had him in Molde for two seasons. The summer before I got here, I rang the club and said, ‘You’ve got to sign this boy – he’ll be absolutely top class’.

That was June/July 2018, and they said ‘no’ – they had enough reports on players. Then I became the caretaker manager, and we had sold Haaland to RB Salzburg.

“I tell the club straight away to buy him while he has a release clause. We knew that then, and no one else would’ve paid that money – €20 million – it would’ve been a bargain. Even though with his links with Alfie [Haaland], and Manchester City and Leeds.

“It was the club’s decision to not go for it then. We never made bids or went in for him until after he started scoring for Salzburg.

“By then, Borussia Dortmund were there, Juventus were there, everyone was there. His release clause then was still good – €60 million.

“He’s more than just being a great lad. He’s such a team player, and one-on-one with a keeper, he doesn’t think about his own stats. He passes if someone else is through and it’ll be a 100% goal. He’s a gem.”

Man United’s recruitment team missed a trick despite claiming to have enough reports on Halaand and others, and it is clear to see why Sir Jim Ratcliffe is desperate to ring the changes ahead of the summer transfer window.