While playing at Red Bull Salzburg, Erling Haaland became a sensation in world football and obviously, the big clubs were monitoring the progress of the big boy Norway. Haaland is the cocktail of explosive acceleration and pace, athleticism, positioning, and strength and precise off the ball movement – runs behind the defenders at ease and sets himself in the ideal position to score –  the qualities, that fit very well in clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona or Bayern Munich.

Haaland chose to join Borussia Dortmund back in a couple of days before the January 2020 winter transfer opened for a fee reported to be in the region of €20 million, signing a four-and-a-half-year contract.

For the Black and Yellow, Haaland was impressive and his goal-scoring abilities made him one of the giants of Europe.

The German football legend Lothar Matthaus has suggested that the Norwegian striker is ready to leave Borussia Dortmund. The comments will have many of Europe’s top clubs on red alert, including Real Madrid, Manchester United, and Manchester City.

“This positivity that he radiates on the team, which is why I think that someday Haaland will not be playing at Dortmund anymore and will make the next step,” Matthaus told the Bundesliga’s website.

“He is already ready, and we are proud to have him in the Bundesliga. Dortmund need to be pleased to have gotten him because he is a striker that fits a club with such emotions,” he continued.

This is high praise, but deservingly so for a player with 17 goals in 14 matches so far this season.

Haaland has a release clause of 75 million euros, though it will not be active until 2022, yet he will nevertheless not be short of suitors and Matthaus is sure he’ll be worth the money for whoever can put up enough to tempt Dortmund to sell.

“At the age of 20, he is a machine. He is a flying striker,” said Matthaus.

Matthaus also compared Haaland, who is currently recovering from a hamstring injury to another top striker playing in Germany.

“Erling Haaland is thought of at Dortmund like Robert Lewandowski at Bayern [Munich]. As a forward not just responsible for goals but for putting the team on his back,” said Matthaus.

“He’s a leader at 20 years old.”

Real Madrid have a huge interest in Haaland. Even though for a brief period, their interest was around the French wonder kid and World Cup winner – Kylian Mbappe, but right now, they need a genuine goal-scorer and Haaland simply fulfills their expectation.

Marca says, “Mbappe’s PSG deal expires in 2022, and with the player reportedly refusing to sign a new contract, that slow game appears to be paying off. But while Mbappe is undoubtedly one of the most fearsome attackers in the world, and will be for many years to come, one has to wonder whether Madrid’s priorities should lie elsewhere.”

“Erling Haaland, on his part, has burst onto the scene in the last 18 months, with his goal-scoring exploits in the Champions League taking him from RB Salzburg to Borussia Dortmund, where he has fit in seamlessly, and it is this reliability in the penalty area that should appeal to Los Blancos more than the Frenchman.”

“Madrid are blessed with two of the most electrifying young wingers in the game, in Vinicus Jr and Rodrygo Goes, and they are still awaiting their record signing Eden Hazard to get going. Mbappe would certainly improve any side, but the wide left position in which he normally operates is well covered.”

“Yet in the striking department, there is no such luxury. Karim Benzema has stepped up as the side’s talisman since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, but anyone brought in to alleviate some of that responsibility has failed. Luka Jovic hasn’t been able to get going since his big-money arrival from Eintracht Frankfurt in 2019, while Mariano Diaz can’t seem to convince Zinedine Zidane of being anything more than a bit-part player.”

“Benzema turned 33 in December, and while he continues to defy logic with his heroics week after week, Madrid need to start planning for life after the Frenchman, which is soon.”

“There are few No.9s in Europe both with Haaland’s ability and potential, and Real Madrid would be securing a player that could fill the role for the next decade much like Benzema has, arriving at Los Blancos from Lyon at the age of just 21, which is how old the Norwegian will be this summer.”

“Borussia Dortmund, despite claiming the contrary, are a club with an ‘open for business’ approach, and Haaland’s agent, Mino Raiola, isn’t one to hold his clients back from big-money moves.”

“A summer push for Mbappe as he enters the last year of his PSG contract appears inevitable, but he would still require a fee greater than that of Haaland. The flanks at Real Madrid are well covered, yet the central striker role needs a suitable long-term occupant.”

Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke expects Haaland to remain at the club despite continued transfer links to Manchester United and Real Madrid.

“Erling knows, as his agent, Mino Raiola also knows, what he has in Dortmund,” Watzke explained in an interview with Kicker.

“I can only advise him to do the same as Robert Lewandowski, who took his time to become a world-class player. That is something that can’t be achieved in one year. It’s clear that if one day Erling leaves us it will be to sign for a club bigger than Dortmund, and there aren’t many of those teams around.

“If you want to sign for a team like Real Madrid, for example, you have to have reached the world elite level.”

Haaland’s contract at Signal-Iduna-Park runs until June 2024 and Watzke has repeatedly shut down suggestions that there is a release clause or a verbal agreement that would allow the Norwegian international to leave in 2021.

In the media, it has, though, been suggested that a release clause of 75 million euros will come into force when 2022 begins, although there has been no official confirmation of that.

But the demands are so high that one cannot rule out the move of Haaland to a top club and at the moment, Real Madrid are capable of signing such a striker, who delivers them goals on a consistent basis.

Very few can argue that Haaland is not ready for Real Madrid – the big boy is ready to don the white shirt and dazzle.

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