Athletic journalist Phil Hay has said that Leeds United will need to qualify for the Champions League at a minimum to sign striker sensation Erling Haaland. 

Erling, the son of former Leeds player Alf-Inge, has become one of the hottest strikers on the world stage after an incredible season that’s seen him score 40 goals in 33 games across all competitions, and 10 in eight Champions League games.

Hay had previously said that Leeds tried to sign Haaland before he went to Red Bull Salzburg in January 2019.

With his Leeds connection and the fact he once said his dream was to win the Premier League with Leeds, some fans still hold out hope of him coming to Elland Road.

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Talking on the latest episode of the Phil Hay Show, Hay said, “I believe there is a buyout clause and it would make him affordable to clubs at Champions League level.

“I think that’s the thing with Haaland, he’s done so well at Dortmund and made such an impact in the Champions League that his next move is going to have to be to a Champions League club.

“He isn’t going to drop down to a Europa League club, he isn’t going to, no matter what his affinity with Leeds and even that’s been called into question by him recently, he isn’t going to sign for a club without European football and who aren’t mixing with the very best players.

“It is inevitable that in order to sign him you’re going to have to be qualified for the Champions League and you’re going to have to have that finance. I don’t get the impression that he’s sentimental about this and he’s very driven.”

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It’s amazing to think that Haaland is only 19-years-old and it’s definitely a case of what might have been for Leeds.

Hay has said that Leeds were optimistic they were going to sign him before Salzburg came back with a much bigger offer.

Had Leeds signed him, however, it would surely have been a stepping stone had he made a similar impact.

The plan for Leeds is for promotion to the Premier League and then European football.

There’s been talk of a QSI takeover that current owner Andrea Radrizzani has said would take Leeds into the same spending bracket as Man City.

He might regret saying that after City’s recent European ban for financial fair play but that would provide the money for Haaland – the last piece of the puzzle would be Champions League football.

That seems like a whole word away at the moment, though, with all football suspended in the UK because of the Coronavirus outbreak.

In other Leeds United news, ‘It’s my understanding’: talkSPORT man shares what he’s heard from EFL clubs, bad news for Leeds

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