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Haaland’s Real Madrid plan

The Norway striker remains keen on a move to Real Madrid despite Manchester City moving to the front of the queue, but his stay at the Etihad may be brief.

Erling Haaland of Borussia Dortmund looks on during the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and VfL Wolfsburg at Signal Iduna Park on April 16, 2022.
DeFodi ImagesGetty

Erling Haaland’s next destination has been the subject of debate for some time, the Borussia Dortmund goal machine being courted by most of Europe’s big-spenders, while the Bundesliga side remain quietly confident they can get the Norway international to agree to spend one more season at least at the Westfalenstadion. Real Madrid’s interest in securing the services of a player who is worth a goal per game is widely known, but Manchester City’s spending power and lack of an out-and-out striker remains a significant obstacle to the Bernabéu board’s designs, and without taking into account the likely arrival of Kylian Mbappé from PSG this summer.

“Haaland’s dream remains to sign for Real Madrid”

As such, Haaland and his advisers have a plan, which in the world of modern football is far from unworkable but the moving parts remain to be aligned. According to Bild journalist Christian Falk, if Haaland does join City it would be for one season only, given the difficulty of Madrid being able to sign both the Norwegian and Mbappé this summer.

Sources in the Dortmund dressing room have told me that Haaland’s dream remains to sign for Real Madrid. He wants to go to Madrid but, for now, that door is closed to him. Mbappé is on the verge of joining and Benzema is in the best form of his career, which has led Haaland to consider making an intermediate stop at City. He is a very young player who can gain more experience there and spend a year learning under Pep Guardiola,” Falk said.

Raiola fee a sticking point for City

It may be that City see the benefit in such an arrangement, a short-term fix for a modest outlay with the option of a loan arrangement from Dortmund. City are reportedly close to agreeing a deal for Haaland but have been put off finalizing anything due to the financial demands of the player’s father, Alf-Inge and his agent, Mino Raiola.

“I have been told that nothing has been signed because of the inflated demands of his agent Raiola,” Falk said. “His father also wants his slice of the pie, €30 million for him and €40m for Raiola. That aspect still needs to be hammered out. But they, as much as Dortmund, are convinced it will be sorted.”