Erling Haaland has only officially been a Manchester City player for six days but reports are already reminding the club will have to brace themselves for interest in his services.
Manchester City confirmed the completion of a deal to sign Haaland from Borussia Dortmund on June 13th. He will formally become a member of Pep Guardiola’s squad on July 1st after the Premier League champions activated his release clause.
In doing so, they have secured the services of one of the world’s most promising players. Haaland had an extraordinary goal record for Borussia Dortmund and could take an already strong Manchester City to the next level.
However, there could come a catch with City’s acquisition of Haaland. Still only 21 years old, it is unlikely they will never have to fend off rival interest for his future services.
Indeed, AS have now revealed that Real Madrid have made Haaland a top target for the summer of 2024.
According to the Spanish source, Real Madrid remain admirers of Haaland. He was not on their agenda for the current summer transfer window, when Kylian Mbappe was (unsuccessfully) the main aim. But they have been eyeing the Norway international as a future target.
In two years’ time, there will be a €150m release clause (which would currently equate to £128.78m) in Haaland’s contract. As such, he could be prised away from City in a similar, yet more expensive, manner to the way Dortmund lost him.
Real are ready to wait and see how Haaland’s fitness holds up over the next two seasons. Then, they may take their opportunity to land him as a successor to Karim Benzema.
From his own perspective, Haaland is said to be open to playing for Madrid in the future. Indeed, one of the reasons he accepted City’s offer this summer was because of their allowance of an exit clause.
Therefore, City could be bracing themselves in the future. But for now, they are ready to enjoy their own Haaland era beginning.
Erling Haaland has quality to always be on Real radar
There is no doubt that City are acquiring a world-class striker in the shape of Haaland. With that comes the obvious consequence of other European giants keeping tabs on him.
It is a lesson title rivals Liverpool have had to learn in recent seasons. Exit links for the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane – one of which is finally about to come true – have never been too far behind.
But Liverpool have still been able to enjoy watching the duo at the top of their games. Likewise, City should now be looking forward to at least two years – and potentially five, given the length of the contract he has signed – of Haaland.
Any future threat of losing him should not dampen their spirits. This is a huge signing for the champions, who will hope he can help establish them at the same level of the likes of Madrid when it comes to European pedigree as well.