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Guardiola: Haaland doesn’t have a release clause for any club

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says Erling Haaland won’t be leaving for Real Madrid, Barcelona or anyone else

Roddy Cons
Update:
Guardiola quiere que Haaland sea más que un goleador
Mike HewittGetty

Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola has denied claims that star striker Erling Haaland has a release clause in his contract, which would allow him to join Real Madrid or Barcelona in the summer of 2024 or later.

Reports on Spanish TV show El Chiringuito this week initially suggested that City could do nothing to stop the Norwegian marksman leaving for Los Blancos if they bid €200m for him in 2024 or €175m in 2025. On the back of that, Catalan media insisted that this release also applied to Madrid’s bitter rivals Barcelona.

But speaking after his team’s 5-0 Champions League victory against FC Copenhagen, in which Haaland scored another two goals, Guardiola was at pains to deny that this clause existed.

Erling Haaland doesn’t have a release clause for Real Madrid or Barcelona

“It’s not true. He doesn’t have a release clause for Real Madrid or any other team. It’s not true, that’s all I can say.”

“We can’t control the rumours and what people say. We can only worry about things that we can control. The important thing is that he has adapted really well. I have a feeling that he’s incredibly happy here. And we will try to make him and the other people who want to stay here happy. This is the most important thing.”

“At the end, what’s going to happen in the future? Who knows? Nobody knows. The important thing is that he’s happy, he’s perfectly settled and loved by everyone.”

It certainly would have been strange for a club with City’s ambitions to agree to such a contract, with Real Madrid and Barcelona almost certain to be main rivals for glory in the Champions League, which is one of their key objectives but has eluded them so far.

Rumours have been fuelled, however, by Haaland’s own father, former City player Alf-Inge Haaland, who has previously said that his son could “stay at a club for three or four years at the most. For instance, he could spend two-and-a-half years in Germany, another two-and-a-half in England, then in Spain, Italy and France.”

Erling Haaland breaking records in every Manchester City match

Haaland Jr’s goalscoring exploits this season have been setting records and throwing up incredible new statistics after every game. Last weekend, he became the fastest player to reach three Premier League hat-tricks (after eight games), smashing the previous record with 40 games to spare. After last night’s double against Copenhagen, he has now scored scored one more Champions League goal (28) than former Barça players Luís Suárez and Rivaldo, having played 51 fewer games.

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