Dortmund have categorically said that Haaland will not be sold this summer, but Marca insists that this is a negotiating tactic on the part of the German club.
‘It is not the first time that Aki Watzke, general manager of the German team, uses this tactic,’ the outlet says.
‘He sits down to wait and the club in question raises and raises their offer until Dortmund considers that it meets their expectations.
‘The last time it happened with Dembelé and Barcelona. After days and days of calls they remained inflexible, until in one of those calls they reached 145 million euros, a figure that exceeded any forecast.
‘Now there is talk of 180 million euros (plus commissions) as the figure that can change everything, an amount that Real Madrid are not willing to reach under any circumstances.
‘What’s more, in recent days the conviction has grown in the sports management of the big clubs that no one is going to approach that price.’
It is almost certain that United’s owners, despite their desperation to appease the fanbase, would not pay the equivalent of £155 million to bring any player to the club.
Interestingly, Marca also claims there is some doubt over whether the widely-reported €75 million (£65m) release clause in Haaland’s contract, which is due to take effect in June 2022, is real or merely a rumour.
‘What nobody is confirming is whether the €75 million exit clause of the summer of 2022 really exists,’ they report. It is an interesting claim and could have some truth to it as Haaland’s agent Mino Raiola was evasive when questioned about it recently.
The absence of such a clause would certainly throw a spanner in the works and give Dortmund much more power in terms of negotiations. How much is one more season of the Norwegian in your side worth if you know you’ll lose him for £65 million next summer? But if you retain control over next year’s asking price, with a contract that runs to 2024, then you can afford to be very patient and very picky.