At least there won't be 31 days of will-he-won’t-he over a possible transfer of 19-year old Norwegian striker Erling Haaland to Manchester United. No reports from Flight Tracker about a private plane heading to Manchester from Salzburg or Stavanger. No pictures of him signing a United shirt among the many others he’s asked to sign. Haaland’s deal to join Borussia Dortmund was announced on Sunday, with the contract dated from January 2. United were interested in Haaland and his former boss, Ole Gunnar Solskajer, flew to see him in Austria. While they weren’t put off by the cost or the agent’s fees, they were by any future sell-on fee and the control it gave to the agent Mino Raiola, who also represents their players Paul Pogba and Sergio Romero. United believed the terms would give both the player’s father and agent a share of future sales. United could not agree to any of that, particularly the level of the buy-out clause, considering it would be bad for the club and for the football industry in general. There are already enough people inside Old Trafford who feel Raiola, who would be given a lot of control over any sell-on, isn’t necessarily the best thing for the players he has at the club. Welcome back to the @ChampionsLeague , Mr. Håland pic.twitter.com/cvc5VWzmIX — Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) December 29, 2019 Other factors influenced United. Their young front line isn’t doing badly and Mason Greenwood, 18, has scored four times in his last five starts. Marcus Rashford’s 16 goals, the latest at Burnley on Saturday, are already more than he’s scored in any previous season. Anthony Martial, who got the first at Burnley, has 10 goals so far. He’s well on target to surpass last season’s 12 and 11 the season before that. United are confident that, after years of errors, their recruitment is on the right track. Their main recruitment will be focused on the summer and they will only buy in January if their targets become available. They’re also prepared to walk away from deals if they’re not right. Why? They’ve been stung too many times and overpaid for underperforming players. They have the second-highest wage bill in world football as a legacy of that poor recruitment. Raiola is often cast in a negative light, but a leading agent, who has worked extensively with Germany’s biggest clubs, offers a different take. “The bottom line is simple. If you really want someone then you close the deal. United’s view is fine but if they’re after that type of player then they still must find him and if Mino is his agent then they’ll have to decide again if they want to deal with him.” “Mino has received some vast fees but they’ve always come off the back of creating value for the clubs where he’s bought players too. He took Pogba to Juventus for nothing and made them a huge profit. His percentage sell-on came from when the value of the player and the transfer fee went above a certain high level. “He’s a salesman and if you’re a salesman then you want a share in that increased value. He’s the one who gets the player, who extracts the diamond. The club’s job is to polish it.” The agent points out how Dortmund have excelled in that particular aspect. Ending the decade with a W! #MUFC pic.twitter.com/FAjPFtknLI — Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 28, 2019 “They have a track record of signing young players, putting them into the first team and giving them a big stage. If they do well then they increase in value before Dortmund sell at the right moment. “They did it with Kagawa, Mkhitaryan, Pulisic, Lewandowski, Gundogan, Aubameyang, Dembele and they’ll do it with Sancho. Note how many of them are attacking players – that’s what they excel in. “The Haaland buy-out fee of €22 million [US$24.6 million] is a lot for a 19-year-old striker but if he makes it happen it soon becomes a bargain.” Ole on @MarcusRashford : "He’s got everything physically. He’s got great mentality, the right attitude and he’s one of our own. "He’s going to get better and better, as he’s still only 22, but he's been a leader for us." #MUFC pic.twitter.com/Y6JQlf94Cx — Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 29, 2019 The agent says Raiola will have two main considerations. “The first is at what club is my player likely to improve as a player – and increase in value? And secondly, which club is going to look after me for bringing them that player if he does grow and bring extra value to them? “Red Bull are cashing in already. They obviously think they have a conveyor belt of talent and that now is the time to sell after Haaland had an incredible Champions League group with eight goals. 15 matches played, 9 goals, 9 assists...scary good — Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) December 27, 2019 “Before he played in the Under-20 World Cup five months ago and scored those nine goals in one game, he wasn’t being talked about as a major star. He wasn’t even a regular in the Red Bull squad until this season.” Dortmund have got their man, while Manchester United decided it wasn’t worth giving Raiola any more influence at Old Trafford. The next few years will show which club called it right.