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Haaland stokes rumours that he could be leaving Dortmund

Haaland remained out on the pitch, on his own, applauding fans in every section of the ground after Dortmund's final home game before the Christmas break.

Haaland stokes rumours that he could be leaving Dortmund

Erling Haaland fuelled rumours about his future after the midweek meeting with Greuther Fürth at Signal Iduna Park. The Norwegian striker played a key role in the game, scoring twice in the 3-0 win. He was substituted on 83 minutes but on the final whistle, he returned to the pitch to applaud the home fans. It's quite a common sight to see players acknowledging home supporters in Germany but on this occasion, Haaland took it to the extreme because he stayed out on the pitch on his own - even after the rest of his team mates had retired to the changing room. He made a point of applauding each section of the ground, including the famous yellow wall.

Haaland's Christmas cheer

Haaland's gesture prompted many to double check the team's upcoming fixtures. It was Dortmund's last home game of 2021. The next match at Signal Iduna Park is against Freiburg on 14 January (the Bundesliga traditionally stops over the Christmas period). Haaland's gesture has stoked rumours about his future, even though Borussia Dortmund insist that there is absolutely zero chance that he could leave the club in the winter transfer window. Some commentators have argued that Haaland wanted to salute the fans simply because it's the last home game before Christmas and not because he intends to move on in January. Since joining the club in January 2019, his figures have been mind-blowng - 76 goals and 20 assists in 74 games.

However, his agent Mino Raiola continues to add fuel to the rumours every time he gets an opportunity. Sooner or later, Haaland will take the next step in his career and move on to a new club. Every time a transfer window approaches, his name is linked to Europe's top clubes. Dortmund's current situation is interesting as they have been eliminated from the Champions League and that must be frustrating for their star player.

Haaland and Real Madrid

Real Madrid are one of several clubs who have shown an interest in the 21-year-old, although Carlo Ancelotti was very clear a few weeks ago when he said that the club would not be making any reinforcements in the January window. The powers that be at Real Madrid plan to launch their bid for Haaland in next summer's transfer window, although if the player is desperate to join them now, Madrid would be open to changing their plans...