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Mundial de Clubes

REAL MADRID

Haaland clause denial gives Real Madrid renewed hope

Cristoph Freund, sports director of RB Salzburg, denied that there was any favourable agreement to a particular club, as Manchester United stay in the hunt too.

Real Madrid have been following the impressive rise of Erling Braut Haaland with interest. The 19-year-old Red Bull Salzburg forward has caught the eye of Europe's elite clubs with his 27 goals in just 19 games, setting records in the Champions League, and thoughts on where his future lies have been gathering pace.

Haaland has no agreement in place

According to German outlet SportBild, Haaland had a release clause of just 30.2 million euros if it was Bundesliga side RB Leipzig (a club with the same owners) who wanted to sign him, a poultry fee given the sums being banded around. But Christoph Freund, sports director of Salzburg, has been quick to rubbish the report.

"We will never give any preferential right to any club over our players," he stated emphatically. "This has never occurred in the past, and it will never occur in the future"

With no release clause in place, RB Salzburg expect the price of their young striker to be decided by a bidding war, the highest value taking the player and leaving the Austrian club with significant funds to reinvest. AS has learned that the forward may even be allowed to leave in the January window but not for anything less that 100 million euros. With no restrictions on being able to play for two clubs in UEFA competitions in the same season, this may be a very attractive proposition for some of the continent's richest, although Salzburg may want to hold onto Haaland if they make it through the Champions League group stages at the expense of current holders, Liverpool.

Another one | FC Salzburg's Erling Braut Haaland celebrates scoring their fourth goal.

Another one | FC Salzburg's Erling Braut Haaland celebrates scoring their fourth goal.

Haaland future may fall to Solskjaer

Erling Haland has time to decide his next destination. His father and agent, Alf-Inge, is aware that this will be a decisive step in his career and he believes that the Bundesliga may be the best option to continue his development before a potential move to LaLiga or the Premier League.

Between the suitors of Real Madrid, Manchester United and Juventus, it is the Red Devils who hold an advantage, through their Norwegian manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The coach knows the player well and worked with him during his time at Molde, while United are also desparate for attacking reinforcements after the sales of Lukaku and Sánchez. The chance to help the Premier League club regain their status may be an attractive proposition for the youngster.

Thumbs up | Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could be key in Haaland landing.

Thumbs up | Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could be key in Haaland landing.

Real Madrid are making cautious moves but know that signing Haaland fits perfectly with their strategy to gather up some of the best young talent in the world. The player's compatriot Martin Odegaard is also expected to return to the Bernabéu in the summer, which could help him settling in to a new life in the Spanish capital. Juventus are already looking for cover for Cristiano Ronaldo and reports in Italy say they see the Norwegian striker as a more viable option to Kylian Mbappé, another signing that could impact on Los Blancos' Haaland ambitions.