Borussia Dortmund could be set to lose Erling Haaland in January after the Norwegian was seen making the gesture to fans in their final home game of the year
The 21-year-old is one of the most coveted players in world football after his meteoric rise over the past two years, starring in the Bundesliga and Champions League.
Haaland has averaged better than a goal a game since arriving at Signal Iduna Park in a £17million deal from Red Bull Salzburg in January 2020.
The Norwegian striking sensation has hit an incredible 76 goals in 75 appearances for Die Schwarzgelben, putting him in a similar category as Robert Lewandowski in terms of his strike rate.
But his agent Mino Raiola has caused a stir after his admission that Haaland could leave Dortmund in the summer when his £68m release clause in his contract becomes active.
Barcelona reportedly met with Raiola earlier this month to discuss a possible deal, while Man United interim coach Ralf Rangnick has included Haaland amongst his four-man shortlist of transfer targets in January.
And the Norwegian only fuelled speculation of his potential departure after waving to the club’s supporters, according to The Sun, following their 3-0 win over Greuther Furth last week in their final home game of 2021.
When asked to respond to his star striker’s gesture, Dortmund’s general manager Michael Zorc admitted he was left slightly baffled before receiving assurances from Haaland.
“I saw the pictures afterwards too,” Zorc told reporters. “It looked a bit strange, but I don’t think it was a deliberate action.
“I spoke to him again briefly, and that’s not an issue in the team either.
“‘What is this?’ I asked him. ‘Nothing at all’, he said. That settles the matter.”
While Haaland have may played down his gesture, there is an air of inevitability that he will move on to a bigger club at some point in the future.
Dortmund’s CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke addressed Haaland’s future by revealing Real Madrid are “very interested” in bringing the striker to the Santiago Bernabeu in the near future.
And the German supremo, 62, advised the Norway international to head to Spain for his next move if he heads for the exit.
“All I know is Real Madrid are very interested in him.
“I could name 25 others now, but with Real I know for sure. I think he would fit in better in Spain
“A different kind of football is played in England. I am not so sceptical that he will stay with us.”
Watzke also confirmed that he recently had a phone call with Haaland’s agent Raiola regarding the future of his client — and refused to rule out the possibility of him staying at Dortmund.
“He might leave, but he might stay also,” he added.
“I talked to Mino Raiola a few days ago and the phone call was very positive. We will likely talk again in the upcoming weeks.”