Before you begin, yes, I understand. I don’t want to lose our star striker ever, let alone after only 18 months of service, but the fact is we should always consider an offer. Rumors speculate that Erling Haaland and Borussia Dortmund agreed to an exit clause of around $75 million, but it does not activate until the summer of 2022. So why should we sell now?
Haaland has been steadfast in saying that he is very happy and comfortable at Borussia Dortmund, and we have no reason to think that he is lying. However, there is a chance that BVB could miss out on Champions League football next year, and not only will that hurt the club financially, but that may well change the star strikers mind on how comfortable he really is with Die Schwarzgelben. The best players in Europe crave Champions League nights, and without it Dortmund become less attractive of a club.
Would Haaland want to leave if BVB fail to qualify for the Champions League? It is very possible that young man would have his head turned. Having scored 18 goals in just 13 appearances in Europe’s top competition, Haaland would not be very keen to sit a season out given he is outpacing some of the competition’s finest competitors for goal-scoring exploits including Raul, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
So who wants to buy Haaland?
Everyone, and to quote Billie Eilish, “duh.” Erling Haaland is quite possibly the most sought-after player in the world right now and for three reasons. The first reason is that he is only 20 years old and is competing at a top level, the second is that he plays center-forward, and lastly Haaland is at a club that always tries to maximize player sales, especially generational talents like this one. Dortmund cannot afford to miss on many of these opportunities as much as it pains supporters to see their star players move on.
You have all seen the rumors with every super club in Europe being linked, but I believe the big clubs coming this summer are Manchester City, Real Madrid, Chelsea, and Manchester United that will submit bids for the Norwegian god of goals. Why wouldn’t they? All four of those teams have the three qualifiers for doing so: Champions League football next season seems certain, money, and each one is struggling for goals at center-forward.
So what should Borussia Dortmund ask for Haaland?
As much as possible, but that goes without saying. I think we should accept offers valued at around $140 million, which is roughly twice his 2022 exit clause. Why? Erling Haaland is a special talent graced with size, speed, work-rate, and a deadly eye for goal at such a young age. Whichever club gets him next will surely have their striker set for the next decade. The next striker with the same abilities that is possibly available is Harry Kane, and while he is turning 28 this summer, Haaland will be 21. Manchester City would easily be able to pay that kind of fee for Haaland. Of course, initial offers would be low, but Hans-Joachim Watzke knows how to make good deals happen for the club. This is the deal I predict will be happening this summer. Haaland would be the perfect replacement for Sergio Aguero and a huge upgrade on Gabriel Jesus. With Pep Guardiola just signing a new contract, the City board would be crazy not to get him his striker and dominate not only England, but Europe for the next decade. What other deals could be had?
There have been multiple reports referencing a swap deal from Real Madrid which would include Luka Jovic and variable amount of cash. The amount of cash would be key to this situation because one early report listed $40 million, and that just will not cut it. I think Luka Jovic is a terrific player, and should be our target to replace Haaland for several reasons. We know he can score in the Bundesliga, and he needs a confidence boost after his time in Madrid. Dortmund is the perfect place for Jovic. It is a big club, but in a small market where the pressure will be less intense, and the Serbian sniper will be able to thrive just as he has for Eintracht Frankfurt. Real Madrid and the BVB board have a very solid relationship, so I could see Dortmund taking Jovic and around $90 million if Madrid have the funds. This would be a great deal for BVB as well and I would definitely fancy it if Real pulls the trigger.
Chelsea could also be an interesting proposition as well when it comes to swap deals. The arrival of Thomas Tuchel has brought a back three as the preferred formation, but there are still issues in attack for the blues. Timo Werner and Kai Havertz have struggled to make an impact in attack since their arrival, while former BVB winger Christian Pulisic has struggled with injuries. Could Haaland be the piece to bring Chelsea’s attack together? He very well could be, and not only do Chelsea have deep pockets like Manchester City, they may have something else the club could use, center-backs. Andreas Christensen played very well for Borussia Monchengladbach but has been unable to secure a place in the Chelsea XI very often. Fikayo Tomori is also a promising talent on loan at AC Milan, and Kurt Zouma is an underrated French center-back who would do very well at a club like Dortmund. If Chelsea were to kick in one of these defenders we could take a few million off the bill, but the cash would still have to be $115M for Haaland. Would they do it?
Manchester United will be linked as well because they want Haaland very badly. Having missed out on Haaland in the winter of 2020 to BVB, United have been seething over losing out on the star man when he left FC Salzburg. However, I just do not see the Red Devils stumping out the same amount of cash as their cross-town rivals nor do I see any player we would like to have in a swap deal. United fans will think they are in for Haaland and the rumors will be flying all summer long, but I predict that no actual concrete offer of substance will come regardless of the vast social media presence we will encounter.
Let me be clear, I don’t want to sell Erling Haaland, especially if we are looking at moving on Jadon Sancho as well. However, if Dortmund fail to qualify for Champions League and Haaland expresses an interest in moving from the club, I think we will have some great offers available given that teams will not want to wait until 2022 and potentially lose out on him. I like the idea of a Luka Jovic swap with Real Madrid or a Manchester City cash deal which will enable the club to inject funds to replace our star striker and bring in a quality defender or two. Brace yourselves, it is going to be a long summer.
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