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Haaland: Dortmund confirm Real Madrid interest in striker

Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has confirmed Real Madrid's interest in signing Norway striker Erling Haaland.

Erling Haaland of Borussia Dortmund celebrates after scoring their team's first goal during the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and SpVgg Greuther Fürth.
Dean MouhtaropoulosGetty Images

Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has confirmed one of the football transfer market’s worst-kept secrets: Real Madrid are interested in signing Norway striker Erling Haaland from the Bundesliga club. While Florentino Pérez has been fairly vocal about the Liga giants’ intentions towards Kylian Mbappé – much to the chagrin of PSG sporting director Leonardo, who is attempting to persuade the France star to remain at the Parc des Princes – Madrid have not made any public statement regarding a move for the in-demand Haaland.

Real Madrid interested in Haaland, but Dortmund hopeful

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However, Watzke appeared to concede that Madrid have made their interest in Haaland plain to Dortmund, if not public. “Wherever you go, everybody is talking about Erling Haaland. The only thing I know with any certainty is that Real Madrid are very interested in him. And I can name another 25 clubs too. It could be that he leaves and it could be that he stays. A few days ago, I had a good conversation with Mino Raiola. It was a friendly chat. Doubtless we will speak again in the coming weeks. The main thing is in Haaland’s general development. The same as Lewandowski, I would love to be proud of Erling if one day he wins the Champions League. Personally, I think it would be good for him to remain in the Bundesliga for a while longer, but Raiola is a smart lad and knows what he’s doing.”

Raiola recently confirmed to AS that Haaland does not have a release clause at Dortmund, despite reports that the minimum required to trigger talks stood at €75 million. The super-agent also intimated that Haaland would leave Dortmund when a suitable agreement was reached, suggesting there are four clubs in the running for the prolific 21-year-old.

Klopp back to Dortmund?

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Watzke also spoke about the possibility of Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp returning to Dortmund in the future. “[He can come back] whenever he wants, if that is what he wants. But not as a manager, that is obvious. If one day he wants to come back to the BVB family, our doors are open. We still stay in touch. I don’t think we he will be a coach forever. If one day he says: ‘Hey, I’m done coaching, but I’d like to come back to the club to do something,’ then we’ll find something for him, that is for certain. But I would say the likelihood is very low.”