Borussia Dortmund may reach a point where they have no influence over Erling Haaland’s future, according to the club’s head of first-team football, Sebastian Kehl.
The prolific striker has become one of Europe’s hottest properties and a bidding war could well ensue this summer, with Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea all linked.
Haaland’s agent, Mino Raiola, was spotted in Barcelona this week, possibly as part of a tour of the aforementioned clubs in order to engineer a deal.
Dortmund have valued the 20-year-old at €180 million (£154m), but he is thought to have a €75m (£64m) release clause which becomes active next summer.
Speaking to Sky Germany, Kehl said: ‘Our position is clear: we are planning [for next season] with Erling. We are very relaxed about that.
‘Of course, we have been following the situation. But we had a very, very good talk with Mino and his [Haaland’s] father [former Manchester City midfielder Alf-Inge] just recently.’
‘We are very ambitious,’ continued Kehl, ‘we need Erling to achieve our sporting goals, and we have made that clear.’
However, with the eyes of Europe’s elite inevitably on Haaland, Kehl said: ‘From a certain point on, we may no longer be able to influence what the future will bring.’
Haaland became the youngest and fastest player in Champions League history to score 20 goals in the competition, with the Norwegian achieving the feat in just 14 games – 10 games quicker than previous record-holder Harry Kane.
Dortmund take on Manchester City in the quarter-finals of this season’s Champions League, with the first leg taking place at the Etihad on Tuesday, but this past Saturday’s 2-1 Bundesliga defeat by Eintracht Frankfurt has Edin Terzic’s seven points off the top four with only seven games to go.
Unless the 1997 European champions spring a surprise by lifting the trophy again, it looks like they will have to make do with the Europa League at best in 2021-22. Keeping hold of Haaland in those circumstances could prove a very tall order, indeed.
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