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Paul Ince Thinks Roy Keane Incident Will Stop Haaland Joining Manchester United

By Eoin Harrington
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The future of Erling Haaland is one of the biggest questions ahead of this summer's transfer window, with Manchester United among the clips most heavily linked with the Norwegian striker.

Borussia Dortmund will surely have a serious job on their hands to keep Haaland on their books this summer. Former Manchester United player Paul Ince, however, is unconvinced that Haaland will end up on the red side of Manchester.

Ince, who won two league titles during six seasons at Old Trafford, thinks that the infamous 2001 clash between Haaland's father Alf Inge and United captain Roy Keane will be a crucial factor in swaying the Norwegian away from Manchester.

Haaland to United: Paul Ince unconvinced due to infamous Roy Keane incident

Roy Keane rarely held back on the pitch, and one of the most infamous incidents of his career came during his time at Manchester United, when he was accused of intentionally injuring Manchester City player Alf Inge Haaland.

Haaland's son Erling is one of world football's up-and-coming superstars. At the age of just 21, he has 80 goals in 79 appearances for Borussia Dortmund, and he will be in high demand this summer.

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Paul Ince spoke to GOAL this week. He was asked about Haaland's future and questioned whether he would be enticed to join Manchester United, given the bad blood between the club and Haaland's father.


Haaland is a tricky one because you have to go back to the situation with his dad and Roy Keane – that incident happened at Old Trafford. Would he go to Manchester United based on that? I can't see it.

If there is no Champions League then people like that aren’t going to go to Old Trafford.

The incident in question has gone down in Manchester derby lore and infamy. During a 2001 Manchester derby, Keane produced an outrageously high tackle on Haaland, connecting his studs with Haaland's leg just below the knee.


Keane was sent off, and Haaland would ultimately retire years later due to knee problems (though the injury that ultimately caused his retirement affected his other knee, and so was unrelated to the Keane incident).

Keane acknowledged the incident in his 2002 autobiography, and appeared to suggest he had intentionally injured Haaland, as retribution for an earlier incident in 1997, when Haaland was playing for Leeds..

Five minutes from time [in 1997...] I lunged in desperation at Haaland. I was trying to trip him up rather than kick him. [...] He'd done my head in. As I slid to make the challenge, my studs caught the turf. I actually heard my cruciate ligament snap. The pain was instant and agonizing. Haaland stood over me shouting, "Get up, stop faking it."

[On 2001] I hadn't forgotten Alfie. What goes around comes around. [...] Five minutes from the end. Now Alfie had the ball on the far touchline. I was wound up. He'd been taking the piss. I lunged for the ball, but mistimed the tackle. I fucking hit him hard. He went down. Don't you ever stand over me sneering about fake injuries.

As Ince acknowledged, the potential absence of Champions League football is only one of a multitude of other reasons that Erling Haaland is unlikely to join Manchester United.

His family history, however, could prove to be a decisive factor, especially given the emotional connection the family shares with United's bitter rivals Leeds and Manchester City.


SEE ALSO: Tim Sherwood Believes Ralf Rangnick Is Out Of His Depth At Manchester United

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