CBS Sports soccer insider Fabrizio Romano is here to bring you the latest news and notes from the world of soccer transfers, coach trains and more. Last week we checked out the latest on Man City renewals, Spurs’ situation with Jose Mourinho, Liverpool’s search for a midfielder and AC Milan’s renewal talks with three key players. This week it’s all Erling Haaland as speculation mounts over where the world’s biggest transfer target could go next. Here we go!
The last week for Erling Haaland was something very special. A series of events, missions, meetings and the beginning of what may be a very important summer for one of the best talent in the world. The Champions League is back so it’s time to focus more on the field than ever as its Borussia Dortmund face Manchester City (check out the action on Paramount +) But what has really happened in the last few days? What is the real situation for Haaland’s future?
The first mission of his agent Mino Raiola together with his father Alfie was in Barcelona. It was a positive and warm meeting with President Joan Laporta, during which Barça illustrated their new sports project and confirmed their unreserved appreciation for Haaland.
A few hours later, Raiola moved to Madrid to meet José Angel Sanchez, Florentino Perez’s right-hand man, and Real’s board of directors. In this case too, the sensations were very positive. The people from Real showed Haaland’s father the Valdebebas training ground and confirmed their intentions.
Clarification is needed here. There is no agreement or advanced negotiations with a club, on the contrary, it is normal for an agent of such a strong player to meet interested clubs. An opportunity to find out about the projects, programs, the will to invest and the feeling for the club. There was no talk of upcoming offers or advanced negotiations, that will be done later.
In fact, Mino Raiola usually talks to the top clubs for a long time and rates them over time. For example, it was months before Matthijs de Ligt joined Juventus from Ajax, more than five face-to-face meetings and lots of dialogues with other clubs like PSG and Barçelona before the defender was transferred to Italy. The deal was closed in July, but Raiola started speaking to the clubs as early as February. That’s why the race for Haaland is still very long. And we also have to include Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United in this conversation, even if the positions of the individual clubs on this deal are very different.
Pep Guardiola’s words are a signal from the city that it will not be able to spend insane amounts in the summer, a very clear warning also with regard to the negotiations for Haaland. So far, however, only Bayern Munich is safely out of the running because they want to keep Robert Lewandowski as a center forward and top star.
The player’s agent and his father want to take their time and decide calmly. And there is another factor that should not be underestimated and indeed has to be respected: the position of Borussia Dortmund. Mino Raiola’s hot week actually began last Wednesday when the agent arrived in Germany to talk to Borussia about Haaland. Director Zorc has made it clear that he wants to try in every way to keep Erling in Dortmund for another season. The team did the same with Jadon Sancho a year ago, even though negotiations with Manchester United were very serious and advanced.
Therefore, the German club will not start negotiations for less than 150 million euros. This is the position of BVB in the last few days. Haaland has a release clause, which will only come into effect from summer 2022 for around EUR 75 million (with commissions). In short, it is a “war of position”. So Raiola and Haaland’s father began to inquire. We are only at the beginning and not yet at the “advanced negotiations” stage.
Should Borussia Dortmund not qualify for the next Champions League instead, the plan would be even more complicated. That is why Haaland’s future is completely open, anything can happen and there are many protagonists in a single scene: a phenomenal striker, a club that does not want to offer a discount, an important agent, an attentive father and many interested European giants. And then … the Champions League, Haaland’s natural habitat. That can make all the difference for his future once again.