BVB superstar Few facts, lots of speculation: Haaland permanent topic
No one else has been the subject of so much speculation as Haaland. A change this winter was never on the agenda. But there is a lot to be said for the league losing one of its stars.
Dortmund – serious injury or minor injury? Concerns about Erling Haaland’s health are currently overshadowing the months of speculation about his sporting future.
Due to muscular problems in the sensitive adductor area, Borussia Dortmund’s exceptional striker is threatened with his third long forced break this season. Nevertheless, in the coming weeks the final transfer poker begins – accompanied by many speculations.
Initial situation: The contract of the exceptional striker signed at the end of December 2019 for about 20 million euros with BVB runs until 2024, but contains an exit clause. With their help, he could leave the Revierclub for a rumored transfer fee of 75 million euros as early as this summer.
Small circle of possible clubs
Applicants: Interested clubs are many, but only a few could still pay Haaland as well. The total package of salary, transfer fee and commissions is estimated at well over 200 million euros. This clearly limits the circle of serious applicants – especially in economically difficult pandemic times. BVB boss Hans-Joachim Watzke says Real Madrid interest ‘vouched for’. For the highly indebted Real rivals Barcelona, however, the sum is unlikely to be able to handle. Nevertheless, in the Spanish media there was talk of a rapprochement between the two sides. From the Premier League, Chelsea FC is considered a possible new club for Haaland.
Show of strength: In an effort to keep Haaland beyond this summer, BVB is reportedly pushing its financial limits. According to media reports, he was offered the prospect of doubling his salary. Should the goal-scoring star accept, he would allegedly be by far the best-paid professional in the club’s history. "Maybe there will also be 2.50 euros more", Watzke recently commented casually on the TV station Bild. Last weekend, he was a little clearer on two Sky: "We have basic ideas that we would like to share with Erling and his advisers. Then we will see whether this idea will bear fruit or not."
Help from Puma
Sponsor: BVB’s efforts are flanked by jersey sponsor Puma, which wants to sign the star. The fact that Puma CEO Bjorn Gulden is not only a Haaland compatriot, but also a family friend and emotionally close to BVB as a member of the supervisory board, could help in the process. "My recommendation would of course be that he remains a Borussian for another year. I know but also that he is being pulled from all sides", he told the "Ruhr Nachrichten. A supplier contract with Puma would hardly influence Haaland’s decision, according to Gulden: "You have to look at the choice of supplier and club in isolation from each other."
Upset: At the start of the final contract poker Haaland went at a distance to BVB. In a much-publicized interview with Norwegian TV station Viaplay, he was furious about an alleged demand by the club’s top management to clarify his future by March. "Now the club has started to push me to make a decision", Haaland complained, adding in a threatening undertone: "They want an answer. So it’s time to get things underway." Watzke still tried to smooth the waters last weekend. "We have clarified this, there is no ultimatum. There is no discord between us at all, we are good together."
Time is running out
Time frame: even without an ultimatum, BVB does not want to wait months for a decision. "Because he is so important to us, there has to be planning security for us at a certain point", commented the future sports director Sebastian Kehl. The recent injury to Haaland, however, should not contribute to a forcing. Just as little as the unconfirmed media reports about the health of Haaland adviser Mino Raiola. "I have no contact with him, because he – I think – may not have any contact. I can only say things second hand. I already believe that he is not doing so well", Watzke said on Sky.
Alternatives: At BVB, the search for a Haaland replacement has long been in full swing. New names are traded in the media almost daily. "If Erling leaves, we will find another and good solution. It is important that we remain creative", Watzke commented. Most promising candidate is said to be Karim Adeyemi. BVB did not comment on reports that an agreement had already been reached with the 20-year-old international from Salzburg. Because his contract until 2024 does not include an exit clause, BVB would have to dig deep into the club’s coffers, however. Salzburg is reportedly demanding a transfer fee of between 30 and 40 million euros.