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New twist in striker saga as Dortmund dig in over Man Utd, Man City target

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Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has hit back at claims that the club’s financial state means they will have to sell hot-shot striker Erling Haaland next summer.

Haaland, 21, is the most sought-after player in world football due to his exploits in front of goal. The Norway international hit 28 goals from 22 appearances for Red Bull Salzburg in 2019-2020. Those numbers turned many heads but he shunned the biggest clubs to join BVB for around €20m in January 2020.

The Scandinavian made a seamless transition to the Bundesliga, notching 13 goals from 15 top-flight appearances. He then found the net 27 times in the league and bagged 41 goals from as many outings in all competitions last term.

Unsurprisingly, the talented youngster is on the radar of most of Europe’s biggest clubs.   Premier League trio Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool have been linked.

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Spanish duo Real Madrid and Barcelona plus Italian giants Juventus are the others said to be interested. Finances are tight across the football world at present due to the effect of the pandemic.

Some clubs are worse than others, with reports that Dortmund are struggling and need to raise funds. Watzke recently suggested that Harland’s exit would not hurt the club as they would be able to find a suitable replacement.

But he seemed to take umbrage at reports finances would dictate their transfer policy.

“It has not yet been decided whether it will really leave in the summer,” he told Sport 1, per The Mirror. “We’ll just have a look. I heard someone say: ‘They have to sell Haaland because they are listed on the stock exchange.’ This is all bulls***.

“The decision whether someone is sold at our company is made by the management and only by the management.”

Bidding war expected for Haaland

Haaland has a release clause thought to be in the region of £77m. He will be able to pick and choose his next destination.

However, the likes of Barcelona and Juve may struggle to match that figure due to their parlous financial position. But Watzke is confident that he will find the right club with agent Mino Raiola in charge of proceedings.

Man Utd manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer applauding the fans 2021

“The ball lies in Erling’s court. I get on well with Mino Raiola because we can assess each other well,” he added.

“I know what makes him tick. It is not right to believe that Raiola is all about the money. He also has in mind what is best for Erling.”

READ MORE: Ronaldo accused of ‘distorting’ Man Utd team-mate whose chance is over

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