The prolific 20-year-old, who has scored 33 goals in 35 games for Borussia Dortmund this season, is one of the most coveted players in the world.
Haaland’s reported €75 million (£65m) release clause becomes active in June 2022, at which point Madrid hoped it would be a shoe-in for him to join them. But with Dortmund poised to miss out on Champions League football next season despite the Norwegian’s goals, there is mounting pressure on the Bundesliga side to sell him this summer.
‘Haaland, this newspaper has learned, wants to play for Real Madrid,’ say AS.
‘But it is very possible that the timing will not help him.
‘According to [our] sources, the player will surely look for a way out this summer if he cannot play the Champions League next season.
‘This hasty move … would drive him away from Real Madrid.
‘Los Blancos were to sign him later (in 2022) at a reasonable price [but] at the moment … Madrid are focused on Operation Mbappé, following the roadmap set months ago.’
‘These latest events, and becoming aware that his dream of wearing the Real Madrid white has been complicated, have destabilized Haaland. Hence, in several games in recent days he has shown his discontent with a spectacular gesture … Haaland is going through the biggest scoring drought of his short career: seven games without scoring.’
It is a curious claim from AS; they are suggesting that Haaland’s dream is to play for Real but that he will choose to leave this season to get Champions League football even if that means missing out on that dream move.
The outlet claims Manchester City are favourites to sign Haaland, even though Pep Guardiola categorically stated recently that they would not pay over €100 million for a player.
‘In the current situation, Manchester City is best positioned to hire the Norwegian. Barça, almost bankrupt, are ruled out.
‘Even United manager Solskjaer, the Norwegian’s other great suitor in the Premier League, fears losing him to City.
‘If City have in their favour that Haaland’s father played there in the past, United are relying on the persuasive power that Norwegian coach Solskjaer may have with his young compatriot.’
AS conclude by saying ‘the best option for Madrid is for Haaland to decide to stay one more year at Dortmund.’ The outlet stops short of ruling out a bid from los Merengues this summer, but despite the roadshow put on by Haaland’s agent, Mino Raiola, it looks highly unlikely that they will be joining the race unless their bid for Mbappe is cut off at the knees.