(Reuters) - Borussia Dortmund have signed promising young striker Erling Haaland from Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg on a four-and-a-half year deal, the Bundesliga club said on Sunday.
The transfer fee was undisclosed but British media reported the German side paid the equivalent of about 18 million pounds ($23 million) for the 19-year-old, who signed a deal until June 2024.
Haaland shot to fame this season when he scored 16 league goals and eight goals in the Champions League group stages — second only to Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski’s tally of 10.
"We can all look forward to having an ambitious, athletic and physically imposing centre forward here at the club," sporting director Michael Zorc said in a statement here
“Haaland boasts a real eye for goal and impressive speed, and we are confident that we can develop him even further here in Dortmund. At just 19 years of age, he is at the very start of what promises to be an incredible career.”
Haaland was linked with a number of top European clubs after Salzburg failed to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League, with Premier League side Manchester United and Serie A champions Juventus heavily linked with the Norwegian.
The striker is the son of former footballer Alf-Inge Haaland, who played for Nottingham Forest, Leeds United and Manchester City in England.
“I had several intense conversations with the club’s management team, in particular with (Dortmund CEO) Hans-Joachim Watzke, Michael Zorc and coach Lucien Favre,” said Haaland, who has four club hat-tricks this season.
“Right from the very start, I knew I wanted to move here. I can’t wait to get started and play in front of over 80,000 fans (at Signal Iduna Park) in the incredible Dortmund atmosphere.”
Dortmund are fourth in the Bundesliga, seven points behind leaders RB Leipzig and they return to action following the winter break with a trip away to Augsburg on Jan. 18.
The club said Haaland will join the first team squad on Jan. 3 before their trip to Marbella in Spain for a winter training camp.
Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, Editing by William Maclean and Christian Radnedge