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Soccer

Bayern Munich make their move for Haaland

The Bundesliga giants have consistently claimed they have no interest in Erling Haaland, but that may have been a smokescreen with talks now reportedly underway.

Update:
Haaland on Bayern's radar amid Lewandowski uncertainty.
DeFodi ImagesGetty

Manchester City are widely believed to have moved to the front of the queue for Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland, the Premier League club’s deep pockets and lack of an out-and-out striker of the Norwegian’s mold, added to Haaland having been born in England and his father, Alf-Inge, a former City player, making the move seem almost odds-on at this stage. Real Madrid have not been nearly as vocal about the prospect of landing the in-demand Norway international as they concentrate on securing the services of Kylian Mbappé while a club that would normally be considered the prime mover for such a deal, Bayern Munich, have repeatedly said they are not interested in a move for Haaland while Robert Lewandowski is still banging them in.

However, there is little Bayern enjoy more than plucking their closest rivals’ greatest talents – Lewandowski himself was formerly at Dortmund – and according to reports in Germany the Allianz Arena board are having second thoughts about letting Haaland leave the Bundesliga without at least testing the water. Bayern’s reasoning for not pursuing Haaland has always been purely economic – the Bundesliga is not the financial free-for-all that other leagues are and Lucas Hernández remains the most expensive import in history at €80m – but nonetheless Bild has reported that Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has held a meeting with the player.

Salihamidzic and Haaland hold informal chat

According to Bild, Salihamidzic met up with Haaland when the player was in Munich receiving treatment for an injury. The Bayern executive invited Haaland to his house and spent two hours chatting to the prolific forward. Bayern confirmed the meeting had taken place and despite the huge cost of signing the Norway international, the Bundesliga giants appear to be keeping their options open.

As long as Lewandowski is at the Allianz Arena it is unlikely Bayern will make any attempt to sign Haaland and the Poland captain shows no signs of slowing down, but there are some question marks over whether he will remain beyond the end of his contract in 2023, and even suggestions that he may seek a change of scenery this summer.

Kahn: “Haaland is well beyond our reach”

Even so, Bayern have continued to play down any serious interest in signing Haaland at the end of the current season. “He is an excellent striker and a very interesting prospect for the future, but he is well beyond our reach,” Bayern general director Oliver Kahn told German broadcaster Sport1. “They are financial dimensions that are beyond anything we can think about.”

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