The postponement of the 2020 European Championships is potentially a blessing in disguise for both Norway and Manchester United.
The link between club and country is an easy one to make at the moment, with United still holding a strong interest in Norway striker Erling Braut Haaland.
The 19-year-old’s decision to join Borussia Dortmund left United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer feeling frustrated, but his hopes of signing the player may not be over just yet.
Haaland leading Norwegian revolution
Haaland and Norway must safely navigate the play-offs if they are to book their place in the Euro 2020 Finals.
They face Serbia in the semi-finals, with the winners going on to meet either Scotland or Israel for a place in the final tournament.
Norway are priced at 200/1 in the Euro 2020 betting at the moment, but those odds would tumble if they can make it through.
With Haaland amongst a promising batch of young talent filtering into Norway’s squad, it would be no surprise to see them progress.
Release clause gives United hope
The news that Haaland has a release clause in his Dortmund contract will undoubtedly have been music to Solskjaer’s ears.
A tally of 40 goals in 33 appearances in all competitions this term is simply staggering and highlights just why United want Haaland.
While a £63 million fee is a huge hike on the £18.5m Dortmund paid for Haaland, it still represents good value given what other top strikers are likely to go for this summer.
If United can tempt the Norwegian youngster away from Dortmund, it would be a huge boost to the club’s hopes of challenging for the title next season.
Postponed tournament works in United’s favour
UEFA’s decision to put back Euro 2020 until the following year gives United a better chance of completing a deal for Haaland.
A stellar tournament this summer for the young forward would only have served to increase the competition for his signature.
Only Real Madrid are currently believed to be interested in taking advantage of his release clause, effectively making it a straight fight between them and United.
However, many other clubs are likely to be monitoring his progress and a hatful of goals at the Euros would have complicated matters for the Premier League club.
Delay gives Haaland time to develop further
While Haaland has been hugely impressive this season, it is fair to say that he is far from the finished article.
As highlighted by Martin Odegaard’s previous struggles at Real Madrid, talented teenagers don’t always reach the levels they are capable of.
However, Haaland’s international teammate has maintained his work ethic and is now showcasing his talents on loan at Real Sociedad.
In addition to aiding United’s pursuit of Haaland, the delay to the Euros could also be of huge benefit to Norway if the forward continues to improve.