Real Madrid plotting 2024 move for Manchester City’s Erling Haaland
Real Madrid see Haaland’s Manchester City get-out clause as the ideal route towards securing his signature in two years’ time.
Erling Haaland in 2024. AS understands that Real Madrid now plan to move for the striker in two years’ time, triggering the 150-million-euro exit clause in his Manchester City contract. It’s a provision Haaland included in his City deal because he remains open to becoming a Madrid player at some point in his career.
Despite Mbappé fiasco, Haaland was never a 2022 target
As Madrid president Florentino Pérez told the Spanish TV show ‘El Chiringuito’ this week, the club’s interest in Haaland is independent of their failed pursuit of Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappé. Madrid’s aim was always to sign Mbappé this summer and Haaland in 2023 at the earliest.
That’s why the Frenchman’s unexpected, last-minute decision to stay at PSG was not a setback for Los Blancos in terms of their interest in Haaland, who by that time had already committed to City. They had asked the 21-year-old to wait another year before leaving Borussia Dortmund, but the player’s determination to move this summer led him to choose a switch to the Etihad Stadium.
Madrid had asked Haaland for patience in order to facilitate the handover from current centre-forward Karim Benzema, who at 34 has just had the best season of his career. Given Benzema’s form - the Frenchman is the favourite for the 2022 Ballon d’Or - Pérez feels that signing a number nine isn’t a priority right now.
The death of Haaland’s agent Mino Raiola also had an influence on the player’s decision to go to City. Within Haaland’s camp, Raiola, who died in April at the age of 54, was the chief champion of Madrid as the ideal destination for the striker. The Italian was also eager to finally take one of his stars to the Bernabéu, having failed to broker a deal between Madrid and another of his clients, Paul Pogba. With Raiola no longer involved in the process, Haaland and his father, Alf-Inge, finally opted for the astronomical offer put forward by City.
Real Madrid in no rush over Haaland
However, the inclusion of a 150m-euro get-out clause valid from 2024 - which isn’t there exclusively for Madrid, but plays perfectly into the club’s hands - is seen in the Spanish capital as the key that will unlock a future deal for Haaland. Unlike Mbappé, the Norwegian’s transfer decision this summer has not affected his rapport with the club. He wouldn’t face any resistance from the fans, either.
Madrid aren’t in a hurry to sign Haaland, because in two years’ time he’ll still only be 23. He will also have had the opportunity to banish one of the chief doubts hanging over him: whether the numerous injuries he has suffered in the past two seasons are just bad luck, or indicative of a body prone to breaking down.