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Who would Real Madrid fans rather sign? Haaland or Mbappé?

This week, an AS.com poll asked readers whether they’d rather see Real Madrid sign Erling Haaland or Kylian Mbappé - and the result was overwhelming.

Erling Haaland signs new $24m Nike sponsorship deal

Real Madrid fans would overwhelmingly favour a move for Erling Haaland over Kylian Mbappé, an AS.com poll has found.

On Friday, this newspaper asked its readers: “Who would you prefer Madrid to sign: Mbappé or Haaland?” The response was categorical: 82% of the nearly 40,000 users who voted would rather the Spanish and European champions went after the Manchester City striker. And Madrid are working to take Haaland to LaLiga. As we revealed on Thursday, he is the club’s priority target for summer 2024.

Mbappé pursuit in 2022 contributed to Haaland’s City move

Haaland was also high up the club’s transfer wish list before he left Borussia Dortmund for Manchester City in July 2022. However, with Kylian Mbappé seemingly set for the Bernabéu last summer - and Karim Benzema then in career-best, Ballon d’Or-winning form for Los Blancos - the Norwegian was put off Madrid by the brutal competition he expected to face for a place in the team’s attack.

Mbappé then turned his back on a free transfer to Madrid at the 11th hour, signing a new deal at Paris Saint-Germain - but by that point Haaland had already been snapped up by City. Whether the 22-year-old would have chosen Madrid had Mbappé made up his mind about his future a little earlier… That will forever remain one of soccer’s ‘what ifs’.

Haaland scored five for Man City against RB Leipzig this month.
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Haaland scored five for Man City against RB Leipzig this month.James Gill - DanehouseGetty Images

Madrid set to get second bite at Haaland cherry in 2024

At the end of the 2023/24 campaign, however, Madrid expect to get another chance to sign Haaland. As AS has previously reported, he has a get-out clause in his City contract that comes into play that summer - and allows him to leave the Etihad Stadium for a fee somewhere between €220m and €240m.

Meanwhile, unless Mbappé triggers the optional third year in his current PSG deal, the 2024 off-season period will also see the newly-appointed France captain become available on a free transfer. So it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that Los Merengues could bring in both stars.

When it comes to Haaland, Madrid are working hard to get themselves back into the position they were in before he opted for City. The player and his family were initially enthusiastic about a move to the Spanish capital, until he was finally persuaded against the idea by doubts over his potential place in the attacking pecking order. That is less likely to be a problem in 2024, not least because Benzema, who is enduring an injury-plagued season and remains out of contract this summer, will be nearly 37 by that point.

As for Mbappé, it will all depend on the forward’s willingness to run his PSG deal down. Having been snubbed once already by the 24-year-old, Madrid will only countenance another attempt to sign him if it doesn’t involve a transfer fee.

New France captain Mbappé hit a brace against the Dutch this week.
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New France captain Mbappé hit a brace against the Dutch this week.Jean CatuffeGetty

Haaland and Mbappé both banging in the goals

There is certainly little arguing with either player’s on-pitch credentials. Haaland’s five-goal haul against RB Leipzig is still fresh in the memory, as is his hat-trick against Burnley four days later. Eight goals across two games in which he was twice substituted on the hour mark. In all, the Norway international has netted an eye-watering 42 goals in 37 appearances for City this term.

And Mbappé? He has racked up 31 goals and eight assists in 33 games for PSG this season, and has just ripped the Netherlands to shreds with France, scoring a double in Les Bleus’ 4-0 Euro 2024 qualifying win over the Dutch this week.

See also:

AS USA stories - Haaland, Champions League record breaker: