Borussia Dortmund chief executive officer, Hans-Joachim Watzke has made the admission that the Bundesliga club will face a ‘big challenge’ to retain the services of Erling Haaland next summer.
The 21-year-old Norwegian has scored 68 goals and 19 assists in 67 appearances for the German club, which shows the ability of the striker. He arrived from Red Bull Salzburg in January 2020 for a fee in the region of £19.5 million, which is a bargain.
The striker has quickly become one of the ‘hottest properties’ in football since moving to the German side and there are many big clubs seeking to sign him in the summer of 2022, when his release clause becomes active. It is reported that Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona are all interested in the player.
For United though, there is one problem – Mino Raiola. Paul Pogba’s agent just seems to want to make money every few years by moving the player on and that would be no different at United, as has been shown by the constant talking about Pogba’s situation at the club, although United have stood firm in keeping him, so far.
Chelsea were interested in the player but the signing of Romelu Lukaku in the summer seems to have ended speculation of the Norwegian heading to Stamford Bridge. The release clause for Haaland is said to be between £75 million and £100 million, which considering the cost of some players in today’s market, holds a good deal.
The release clause has not officially been confirmed, as in the amount of the clause, but there has been much speculation suggesting that it does exist. Recently, Watzke spoke to Welt am Sonntag, talking about keeping Haaland, saying:
“Of course it will be difficult. I am not saying, however, that it is completely out of the question.
“We’ll do everything we can to keep our top players loyal to us in the future.”
Dortmund manager, Marco Rose seems to be more optimistic, perhaps because his job is to manager the players in their footballing ability, not getting contracts sorted. He was quizzed about Haaland and teammate Jude Bellingham, who has also been linked to United on whether the club could keep both – he said:
“The two boys are currently players with us. We are happy to have them and anything else is just rumours. In the summer, we will see how it goes for both players.
“But I will do everything to ensure they stay. Tie them down (to new contracts)? No idea (what the future holds), let’s see.”
United were made to wait to sign Jadon Sancho from Dortmund, seemingly being priced out during the summer of 2020, perhaps because of the costings involved and the coronavirus pandemic, which had, at the time, stopped supporters from attending matches in the stadiums, costing the club income. They signed the player in the summer of 2021, for a much smaller fee – this will not happen with Haaland though, or Bellingham for that matter.
United will be seeking to sign a new striker at the club, replacing Edinson Cavani, who will leave the club in the summer, possibly heading back to Uruguay for the remainder of his career. Despite signing Cristiano Ronaldo, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will need another player in the squad, despite the development of Mason Greenwood who is tipped to become a centra striker for the club in the near future.
United had been linked to many strikers over the years and Haaland has been one that continues to be linked to the club. However, the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona, despite their current financial problems, may entertain the player more than playing at Old Trafford.
Solskjaer has history with the player, not that it means much in the modern-day game, but it could account for something. I am sure that if Haaland is a player that United would like to sign, they will end up making a move for him. If not, there will be someone else the manager and the club have their eyes on.
Haaland would score bags of goals in the Premier League and the current United squad would create a lot of chances for him. One things that maybe needs to be resolved is the club signing a defensive midfielder, which is a position that is required at this moment in time being that Nemanja Matic is the only experienced player in that position. Once that is sorted, United will be ready to achieve, perhaps better placed than Madrid and Barca?
Written by John Walker