Erling Haaland’s agent Mino Raiola has admitted that Borussia Dortmund have instructed him that the player will not be sold this summer.
The 20-year-old’s €75 million (£65m) release clause is activated next June so clubs with extra cash, including United, are hopeful that they can pay over the odds and get him a year early.
This suits Raiola, who has been busy doing a road trip with Haaland’s father Alf-Inge to the likes of FC Barcelona and Real Madrid to try to scare up some interest.
And in typical Raiola fashion, the fact that Dortmund do not want to sell has not dissuaded him at all from his mission.
‘I can confirm that I was in Dortmund for talks’, the former pizza chef told Sport1.de.
‘[Dortmund’s sporting director] Michael Zorc has made it clear to us that BVB do not want to sell Erling this summer.
‘I respect this opinion, but it doesn’t automatically mean that I agree.
‘BVB were very clear in their view. That’s OK by us.’
The 53-year-old insisted, however, that despite the difference in opinion, his relationship with Dortmund remained good.
‘There is no war between us and BVB – absolutely not! ,’ he claimed.
‘The relationship with Zorc, Aki [Hans-Joachim Watzke, CEO of Dortmund] and [head of first team football, Sebastian] Kehl is still good.
‘A lot of nonsense is written about me. But I don’t care. I will never talk about talks or negotiations in the media. I only talk about that with my players, their families and the respective clubs,’ Raiola said.
It is a curious situation and it is hard to predict how things will evolve. United, Manchester City and potentially Chelsea could all be capable of paying much more than the £64 million release clause to capture what is undeniably their top target. Dortmund do not want to be forced to sell, but know that failure to qualify for Champions League football – which is looking probable – will leave them in financial trouble and needing to raise funds. Add Raiola to the mix, unsettling the player and talking about getting him a £1 million per week salary, and the picture gets very complicated indeed.
United have said recently they will walk away from the situation quickly this summer if it appears that the asking price is high. At the moment that seems inevitable, but never bet against Raiola getting his way.