Erling Haaland looks ready to disappoint a number of Premier League suitors after Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke and a top-ranking Leeds United official both named the club he is most likely to sign for.
Haaland, 21, is the most sought-after player in world football due to his exploits in front of goal. The Norway international hit 28 goals from 22 appearances for Red Bull Salzburg in 2019-2020. Those numbers turned many heads but he shunned the biggest clubs to join BVB for around €20m in January 2020.
The Scandinavian made a seamless transition to the Bundesliga, notching 13 goals from 15 top-flight appearances. He then found the net 27 times in the league and bagged 41 goals from as many outings in all competitions last term.
Unsurprisingly, the talented youngster is on the radar of most of Europe’s biggest clubs. Premier League trio Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool have been linked.
Spanish duo Real Madrid and Barcelona plus Italian giants Juventus are the others said to be interested. Finances are tight across the football world at present due to the effect of the pandemic.
Some clubs are worse than others, with reports that Dortmund are struggling and need to raise funds. Watzke recently suggested that Harland’s exit would not hurt the club as they would be able to find a suitable replacement.
Now Watzke has spoken about Haaland’s future once again and he has dropped a strong hint over the Norwegian’s next side.
“He is an independent personality. Anyway, at some point he will play for one of the best clubs in the world. Although of course he is already playing in one of the best clubs in the world,” Watzke was cited by AS.
“But I know, of course, that Real Madrid seduces him.”
Leeds chief Orta has his say
Having been born in the city, Haaland has made no secret of his admiration and support of Leeds United.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side, however, are not ever likely to sign the striker any time soon, given the finances involved. Furthermore, they can not offer the striker the European football, let alone Champions League football, he clearly needs.
Nonetheless, that has not stopped their director of football Victor Orta discussing Haaland’s next move.
And like Watzke, he too, sees the striker moving to the Bernabeu.
“In my eyes, he is the world’s best striker if we talk about strikers who play in the role of nine. If I can be allowed to choose, and it’s probably a bit about me being Spanish, then I will see him in Real Madrid.
“The truth is that he is a type of striker who has always worked at Real Madrid.
“If you go back to the ’80s, you have Hugo Sanchez, who I remember from when I was a child. He was a warrior, a finisher, who became a favourite among the supporters.
“I obviously work in another league, and of course I support the Premier League, but my supporter’s heart is in La Liga, and I want them to maintain their strength.”
When asked about Haaland signing for Leeds, Orta afforded a chuckle.
“I think that if we meet, it will be because Leeds United have done extremely well. His career is going to be so powerful, so if we ever meet that way, it will be because we at Leeds United have done a lot right.”