Celtic twice missed out on Erling Haaland

Celtic are believed to have twice missed the chance to land current Manchester City hotshot, Erling Haaland prior to the Norwegian’s recent rise, with the Parkhead hierarchy likely left ruing their inaction regarding the towering striker.

As the story goes, the Hoops were reportedly one of the clubs who were interested in the then 15-year-old back in 2016, with the lethal marksman having been plying his trade for Byrne at the time, prior to a switch to Molde in 2017.

Having failed to act in that first instance, reports suggest that the Old Firm outfit then sent scouts to watch the emerging talent in action in a Europa League clash against Glenavon in July 2018, although subsequently decided against a move as the 6 foot 5 menace agreed a deal to join Red Bull Salzburg just a month later.

Following that move to Austria in the following January, the attacking powerhouse has since gone on to prove just what a colossal mistake the Glasgow side made in not securing a deal, having gone from strength to strength in the last few years.

A hat-trick on his Champions League debut for Salzburg against Genk alerted the wider world to his explosive talents, with the Leeds-born ace going on to score 29 goals in just 27 games for the club before sealing a move to Borussia Dortmund in January 2020.

Already something of a household name at that stage, the “prolific” marksman – as dubbed by The Athletic’s David Ornstein – rapidly emerged as one of the leading figures in European football during his time in the Bundesliga, netting a remarkable tally of 86 goals in just 89 games for the German outfit.

The seemingly unstoppable “machine” – as described by Fabrizio Romano – has since been snapped up by Manchester City for a reported fee of just £51m, with that deal already looking like a match made in heaven following what’s been a dream start to life at the Etihad.

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Having sparkled with his pace and power during his stint at Westfalenstadion, the £135m-rated predator has shown a more nuanced side to his game in Pep Guardiola’s side, quickly developing into a clinical and ruthless asset in the opposition penalty area.

The “unique” forward – as lauded by broadcaster Daniel Garb – has quashed any doubts about his ability to succeed at City in brutal fashion, with 13 goals to his name in just nine outings so far this term, including ten in only six league games.

His latest effort came late on in the Champions League triumph over former club Dortmund, as the 22-year-old produced a stunning, acrobatic finish to clinch victory for the Premier League outfit, with that strike taking his total club career tally to 148 goals in just 191 games.

In truth, both fans and media alike are simply running out of superlatives to describe the 21-cap brute’s talent, with it truly staggering to witness his devastatingly consistent performance levels at such a young age.

With the striker’s playing career still arguably in its early stages, Haaland has ample time left to make those at Celtic Park feel even worse about their missed opportunities.