Erling Haaland: Will Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea or Liverpool pounce for Dortmund striker in the summer?

Erling Haaland, 20, is under contract at Dortmund until 2024 but has a reported €75m (£66m) release clause, which comes into effect in the summer of 2022; the Pitch to Post podcast panel discuss the options, and likelihood of Haaland leaving in the coming months

Erling Haaland Pitch to Post Borussia Dortmund - Getty

Will one of Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea or Liverpool pounce for Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland in the summer?

Haaland, 20, is under contract at Dortmund until 2024 but has a reported €75m (£66m) release clause, which comes into effect in the summer of 2022.

The Norway international has developed into one of the world's most prolific forwards having scored 43 goals in 44 appearances for Dortmund since joining from Red Bull Salzburg for just £17m at the end of 2019.

United met Haaland's release clause at the time but could not agree on the conditions for the transfer, with the stumbling block believed to be the value of the requested buy-out option if he moved to Old Trafford.

A host of Europe's top clubs have been linked with a move for Haaland, as well as La Liga duo Real Madrid and Barcelona.

But could a side look to get Haaland a year early by bidding big in this summer's window?

Jasper Taylor was joined by Sky Sports News' Dharmesh Sheth and skysports.com's Gerard Brand to discuss the options, and likelihood of Haaland leaving in the coming months.

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The situation

17 February 2021, Spain, Sevilla: Football: Champions League, knockout round, round of 16, first leg Sevilla FC - Borussia Dortmund at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. Erling Haaland of Dortmund celebrates after scoring the goal to make it 1:3. Photo by: Daniel Gonzalez Acuna/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images)
Image: Erling Haaland, 20, is under contract at Dortmund until 2024 but has a reported €75m (£66m) release clause triggering in 2022

Dharmesh Sheth on the Pitch to Post podcast:

"This is shaping up to be one of the biggest transfer sagas of the summer, if not years. Let's not forget, Borussia Dortmund managed to get Haaland from RB Salzburg for around £17m back in January 2020.

"We understand that release clause is around €75m, so around £66m, which kicks in in the summer of 2022. What that means is that Dortmund can ask for whatever they want this summer.

"With that in mind, you wonder whether a club who can afford Haaland will be thinking to themselves: can we blow everyone out of the water to make sure we get him, this summer? His agent Mino Raiola has said that four Premier League clubs would be interested in doing a deal: Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea and Liverpool."

The Raiola factor

Mino Raiola
Image: Mino Raiola has had run-ins with Pep Guardiola in the past

Dharmesh Sheth on the Pitch to Post podcast:

"Man City would be an interesting move. The reports earlier this month were that the frosty relationship between Raiola and Pep Guardiola would not prevent a deal going through. The relationship was soured back in 2010 when Raiola took issue to the way Guardiola was dealing with one of his clients, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, while at Barcelona.

"Raiola described Guardiola as a 'coward', 'a dog' and a 'zero person' but those hostilities apparently won't stop a deal being done.

"But we talk about Manchester City and Raiola, but we must remember Manchester United have Paul Pogba in their squad, another Raiola client. Raiola has already spoken out about Pogba in the past wanting to leave, as we know. I don't think what he previously said would have gone down too well with Manchester United."

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Where does he fit in? Simple: anywhere

Gerard Brand on the Pitch to Post podcast:

"There's rightly a lot of talk about Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe and where they go next - but I'm equally as excited to see where Haaland ends up. I love watching him play because he comes across not just as a physical giant, but as a mentality giant as well. He knows he belongs in this environment, playing football at the highest level, and pressure doesn't seem to touch him. His record is ridiculous - it's a goal a game since he left Molde aged 18.

"Where does he fit in? The answer to that is simple: he fits in anywhere. We talk a lot about potential and wonderkids - and there is plenty of potential bought and sold every summer for £50m, £60m, that's what you pay for potential these days - but I think this is a player who comes along every five or six years, and you do everything to sign him.

"It's hard to say who would be in pole position for this. Yes, Manchester City are running away with the league and often without a proper striker - and Pep actually said earlier this month that City are not a team with a 20-goal striker, because the goals come from everywhere. But I can't see Pep carrying on that way, and I think he will want a forward.

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The Daily Telegraph's Matt Law believes City are favourites to sign Haaland

"He also slots in nicely down the road at Manchester United because they have played with a similar centre forward in Edinson Cavani this season and seen a benefit at times. Of course, he will not be there for the long term.

"On first glance at Chelsea, you would think, 'Where does he fit in?' among all that attacking quality, but Timo Werner could actually operate more as a second striker or from the left, plus you would expect Giroud to leave and I am not sure Tammy Abraham can keep Erling Haaland out of a side.

"Then there's Liverpool. They have not been shy in spending in the past - they spent a combined £150m on a defender and goalkeeper in Van Dijk and Alisson - and I am not sure we realise just how big a name Jurgen Klopp still is in Dortmund, and how that might have an impact.

"Could he come in and replace Roberto Firmino? I do not think it is an impossibility, but this will come down to finances and the desire to sign Haaland because I actually think he would want to play for Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool. In short, every team has their little advantage in this race."

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Why didn't Man Utd sign Haaland last season?

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Image: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer managed Haaland at Molde

Dharmesh Sheth on the Pitch to Post podcast:

"The big question, and the one that has always been asked, is why didn't one of those clubs go in for Haaland when he was £17m? One of the reasons for that, particularly from Man Utd, is that they did not want to be a club that had to agree to a release clause.

"Man Utd are a massive club, and it's like them saying: 'We are big enough, and we are a club where a player spends the rest of their career, we are not a stepping stone'. Dortmund knew what they were getting into, getting him on the cheap, but that they would have to agree to this release clause in 2022."

Ole and Haaland - will the friendship help?

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he keeps in touch with Borussia Dortmund striker Haaland

Dharmesh Sheth on the Pitch to Post podcast:

"Solskjaer's relationship with Haaland has not changed since he went to Dortmund. They are still friends - Solskjaer said earlier this month they still talk - and Haaland played under Solskjaer at Molde, but is that enough to convince him to go to Manchester United?

"Are Manchester United prepared to break all kinds of transfer records while neglecting other areas of the pitch? Of course he would improve United, but is he the No 1 priority position at United right now, or do they need to apportion their funds to bring in a central defender or holding midfielder - that one world-class holding midfielder to negate the need for the two they currently have. How far down the priority list is a striker at United?

"I just wonder whether it fits with United in a timing sense. If they spend all of their money on a striker like Haaland, of course they will be better, but at what cost to the rest of the team?"

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Aguero, Jesus and City

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Former Norway goalkeeper Erik Thorstvedt says a move to Manchester City for Haaland is an 'obvious one'

Dharmesh Sheth on the Pitch to Post podcast:

"City, meanwhile, with the place they are in, everything is hunky dory. They are not even playing with a striker most of the time. There's nothing wrong with City's squad, where they may need to strengthen, apart from potentially that No 9 position.

"Sergio Aguero's contract is up in the summer, Pep Guardiola has said players need to earn their new contract. Aguero has started only three games this season due to injury and Covid, while Jesus has started only 12 games, yet City are in with a realistic chance of winning an unprecedented Quadruple.

"I'm not entirely convinced that any pursuit of Haaland is solely dependent on the futures of Aguero and Gabriel Jesus. I can see Aguero getting a new contract, Jesus staying and City still going out to sign Haaland.

"Guardiola has played this in so many different ways - Raheem Sterling or Kevin De Bruyne in a central position for instance - and he's found ways to succeed."

Carragher: There's something about Haaland

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Thierry Henry and Jamie Carragher debate whether Kylian Mbappe or Erling Haaland would be the best replacement for Sergio Aguero at Manchester City

Sky Sports' Jamie Carragher on Monday Night Football:

"I've always favoured Kylian Mbappe but there is something about Haaland. He looks mad, but in a good way.

"He does not care about anything except scoring. You look at his celebration against the Sevilla goalkeeper in the Champions League, I loved it.

"His record of 20 goals in 14 Champions League games, and a shot conversion rate of 44 per cent, is just off the scale. Whether he can continue that remains to be seen, but he's out of this world for a 20-year-old."

Erling Haaland's Champions League record versus Kylian Mbappe
Image: Erling Haaland's Champions League record versus Kylian Mbappe

PL fans: Keep an eye on Dortmund

Gerard Brand on the Pitch to Post podcast:

"Forget the fact he is cheaper next year - this is the chance to get him now because of Dortmund's situation, and if I was a fan of one of these clubs - Man Utd, Man City, Liverpool or Chelsea - I would be following Dortmund's results very closely.

"They are currently outside of the Champions League spots in Germany by two points with nine games remaining. They have not finished outside the top four since Klopp's final season in 2014/15 where they had a major collapse,

"And of course Dortmund are a team over the years who are very much used to selling on their best players and having to rebuild every year, 18 months or two years - and that's why they are so respected, because they do come back year after year with rebuilds.

Erling Haaland capped a dramatic night for Borussia Dortmund against Paderborn
Image: Dortmund are currently fifth in the Bundesliga

"Robert Lewandowski to Bayern Munich was a high-profile move, but they have also said goodbye to Christian Pulisic, to Ousmane Dembele, to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, to Mario Gotze, who came back, to Shinji Kagawa, who came back too.

"They are no strangers to these situations, and that actually makes them tough negotiators, as we saw in the summer for Jadon Sancho.

"Surely the likes of Sancho and Haaland will not be playing Europa League football next season, and actually looking at the Premier League table, there's a chance Man Utd, Chelsea or Liverpool could end up outside the top four so that may have a bigger part to play than finances or relationships with Raiola.

"We will have a much clearer picture on this come May when the Bundesliga and Premier League table is in."

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