Chelsea and Man City dealt fresh Erling Haaland transfer blow – ‘Totally relaxed’

Transfer news: Who could be on the move this summer?

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Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has claimed that Erling Haaland is unlikely to leave the club this summer, pouring cold water on the transfer ambitions of Chelsea and Manchester City. The 20-year-old has established himself as one of Europe’s best players since joining the Bundesliga outfit in January of last year, scoring 53 goals from 56 matches in all competitions.

The Norwegian marksman has earned a number of links to some of the world’s best sides, including Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

Chelsea and Manchester City are believed to be the strongest English contenders for his signature, with Manchester United cooling their interest after tying down Edinson Cavani to a new one-year deal earlier this week.

The Blues are expected to be in the market for a new striker ahead of next season, with Kai Havertz acting as a makeshift centre-forward for Thomas Tuchel’s side in recent outings.

Meanwhile, City are preparing to part ways with Sergio Aguero, who will leave the club at the end of the season after a ten-year spell at the Etihad Stadium.

Although Haaland is arguably the hottest property in world football and looks more than capable of performing at the very highest level despite his age, the likelihood of securing a big-money move this summer appears to be fading.

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Watzke, who has previously underlined his desire to keep hold of the forward into next season and beyond, has stressed that a potential move could be delayed by at least another year.

“I have the clear expectation that Erling Haaland will play for us next year,” the Dortmund chief told Sport Bild. “And I don’t waste any thoughts on anything else.”

He also suggested that Haaland would be out of reach for the likes of Real and Barca, insisting that Dortmund will not be swayed by any desperate attempts to tempt them into selling.

“I think they know about the contract situation and our stance there as well,” explained Watzke when quizzed on whether a phone call from either club would change his mind.

“I am just totally relaxed. Nobody believed us with Jadon Sancho last summer until deadline day, and he’s still with us today.”

Haaland is under contract until 2024, but will reportedly see a modest release clause of just £68m activated at the end of next season if he stays at Dortmund over the summer.

The player’s agent, Mino Raiola, held talks with a number of interested parties last month alongside the Norwegian star’s father Alf Inge Haaland.

Raiola, who also represents many high-profile players including United midfielder Paul Pogba, claimed last month that Haaland is already primed and ready to test himself with a move to one of the world’s biggest clubs.

“With Haaland, everybody was wrong,” Raiola told The Athletic.

“He did things much quicker than everybody imagined. Haaland is in front of his own development. He is ahead of his own schedule.

“Maybe I was too careful when I said: ‘Oh no, let’s move to Dortmund instead of I-don’t-know-where’.

“This boy, I’m 100 per cent convinced and everybody’s convinced, can move to any club, wherever he wants, already on this level.

“And he could have done that last year. But maybe last year there were still teams [saying]: ‘Oh, he was in Red Bull [Salzburg], can he do it in another club?’.

“He is quicker than his own prediction. So yeah, Haaland is the talk of the town.”

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