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Haaland unsure over Real Madrid intentions ahead of Dortmund exit

As he prepares to to leave Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid remain Erling Braut Haaland's first-choice destination, ahead of the likes of Man City, Man Utd, PSG and Barcelona.

Soccer Football - DFL Super Cup - Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich - Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund, Germany - August 17, 2021 Borussia Dortmund's Erling Braut Haaland after the match REUTERS/Leon Kuegeler DFL regulations prohibit any use of photograph

The chase to secure Erling Braut Haaland’s services is approaching its end game. Talks between Borussia Dortmund and the striker, which had been postponed because of the health issues suffered by Mino Raiola, the 21-year-old’s agent, are closer and closer to taking place. At his meeting, Haaland will tell Dortmund chiefs that he intends to trigger a clause in his contract allowing him to leave the Bundesliga club this summer.

Real Madrid Haaland's first choice - but will they move for him in the end?

Haaland continues to keep open all the options placed on the table in recent months - chiefly Real Madrid, Manchester City, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona. As this newspaper has previously reported, his first choice is Madrid. According to sources close to the player with knowledge of the negotiations, Los Blancos have made it clear to Raiola that they will try to sign the Norway international if he seeks a move from Dortmund.

However, Haaland and his family have concerns about how firm Madrid’s intentions are. After all, fellow centre-forward Karim Benzema is in sparkling form at the Bernabéu, and only appears to be getting better. Although the Frenchman is now 34, he looks to have at least another couple of seasons left at the same level. What’s more, Madrid’s attack next term is set to feature not only current star Vinícius Júnior, but also PSG’s Kylian Mbappé, who is widely expected to join the 13-time European champions on a summer free transfer.

With Benzema in dazzling form and Mbappé seemingly on his way to the Bernabéu, Haaland is unsure whether Real Madrid will feel they really need to sign him this summer.
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With Benzema in dazzling form and Mbappé seemingly on his way to the Bernabéu, Haaland is unsure whether Real Madrid will feel they really need to sign him this summer.Gonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images

Haaland has given his thumbs-up to a switch to the Spanish capital, and his camp now consider the ball to be in Real Madrid’s court. Whatever the final outcome of Madrid’s interest, though, he knows he’s hot property and that a furious bidding war for his services - stoked up by Raiola - is in full swing. On Friday, UK newspaper the Daily Mail reported that City have agreed terms with the player and his agent.

See also:

Premier League, LaLiga appeal to Haaland; Ligue 1 less so

With nothing signed yet, Haaland’s final destination remains anyone’s guess. The success, or otherwise, of the interested clubs' seasons will also be a major factor in how hard they finally push to sign him. Fresh from yet another Champions League failure, PSG - who have a very good relationship with Raiola - will likely be prepared to dig very deep for him once Mbappé’s departure is confirmed.

Ligue 1 is not a league that particularly appeals to Haaland, though. He is attracted by the Premier League and LaLiga, where Barça president Joan Laporta has so far been unwilling to spend big enough to snare the striker. To sign the Norwegian on a five-year contract, it'll take a 350m-euro outlay: 200m on his 40m-a-year gross wages, plus 150m on a transfer fee and commissions.