Erling Haaland is refusing to speak to his employers at Manchester City about removing the release clause in his contract, it has sensationally been claimed.
Man City signed Haaland from Borussia Dortmund last summer after making use of his release clause. When bringing him into their own squad, they reportedly accepted the inclusion of a similar clause, which could allow him to leave next summer.
It would be a major blow for Man City, since Haaland has already scored 50 goals for the club in his debut season. The prospect of only having one more season to look forward to with him would be bittersweet.
Therefore, Man City have been at work to upgrade Haaland’s contract already. Last month, it was claimed that, thanks to the commitment of head coach Pep Guardiola, they had managed to remove one exit clause from his contract.
However, there might be further clauses in his deal for further down the line. Therefore, Man City might still be at risk of losing their star centre-forward before his contract expires in 2027.
And according to reports in the Spanish media, Haaland has actually rejected Man City’s attempts to end the speculation once and for all by cancelling the release clause that may remain active.
On the advice of his agent Rafaela Pimenta, the 22-year-old has declined discussions about his contract.
In an ideal world, Man City would like to renew his terms until 2028, offering him a better salary and getting rid of his €200m (£176m) release clause.
On offer would be a wage package of €40m per season (towards £680,000 per week), as opposed to his current earnings of €32m per season (over £540,000 per week). Lucrative goal bonuses could also be included to sweeten the deal.
But apparently, Haaland – who has long been linked with Real Madrid, where he could take over from Karim Benzema – has rejected Man City’s plans. It could make it easier for him to secure an exit in 2024 if he wishes.
Man City hoping they have nothing to fear with Erling Haaland
Of course, if anyone activates a release clause, it is still up to the player to decide if they want to join the club making the bid or not.
But a star of Haaland’s pedigree will be eager to ensure he is playing on the biggest stage possible. Man City’s dominance in the Premier League made them appealing when he was choosing his next club last year, but Real Madrid will always remain a club of elite stature.
As things stand, Haaland is committed to Man City until he will be 26 years old. But his adventure at the Etihad Stadium might not actually last that long.
For now, this just seems to be another layer of speculation. Man City will be hoping they don’t actually have too much to worry about.
Yet it is only natural for rumours to linger around a world-class talent like Haaland. Only time will tell how long he actually does stay in Manchester.