REAL MADRID

Dortmund fear Real Madrid's move for Haaland

AS has learned that Borussia Dortmund are concerned about news surrounding Real Madrid's interest in Erling Haaland.

Dortmund fear Real Madrid's move for Haaland
PATRIK STOLLARZ AFP

Media speculation surrounding Real Madrid’s interest in Erling Haaland has got Borussia Dortmund worried. Such is the fear that Madrid are on the verge of making a move for their star player, AS has learned from several sources close to the player that Dortmund have contacted his agent, Mino Raiola, to find out if there is any truth to the stories they are reading.

However, the reality is that Madrid have not yet made a move for Haaland. They are simply monitoring the player as they did before he signed for Dortmund, who paid €20 million to Salzburg in January plus another €23 million in agent commissions: €8 million to his father and €15 million to Raiola.

According to AS’ sources, Dortmund's plan is for the 19-year-old striker to continue his development at the club and he will not go anywhere this summer. But their fear is what can happen in the winter transfer window next January, when his release clause will be set at 75 million – a very reasonable price for a player of the young Norwegian’s calibre.

Erling Haaland celebrates scoring against PSG.

Dortmund’s bargain buys

Dortmund's recruitment model based on sound and sensible investments on young players continues to be the envy of clubs worldwide. Aside from the development of a top academy – which has produced the likes of Nuri Sahin, Marco Reus and Mario Götze – sporting director, Michael Zorc, the architect of this successful model, also directs a network of keen-eyed scouts that have managed to capture top players at almost laughable prices.

They signed Mats Hummels (from Bayern, where he later returned) and Neven Subotic (from Mainz in 2008) for less than €10 million, both of whom were 19 years old. They bet on a very young Ilkay Gündogan (now at Manchester City) for €5.5 million and picked up Lukasz Piszczek on a free from Hertha Berlin. Another Polish star, Robert Lewandowski came for €4.7 million; while they signed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for €13 million from Saint Etienne and sold him to Arsenal for €70 million.

In more recent times, they have completed two of the best operations in world football: Jadon Sancho came from Manchester City for €7.8 million and is now valued at €130 million; while Haaland is now worth €80 million.

But now, Dortmund are worried about Madrid’s potential approach for the Norwegian marksman, And adding to their concerns is the excellent relationship between club CEO, Hans-Joachim Watzke, and Florentino Perez, which will play into Madrid’s favour should they eventually make a move for Haaland.