Days after Spanish media claimed that Erling Haaland has a ‘special clause’ in his Manchester City contract, which gives Real Madrid the priority to snap him up in 2024, Pep Guardiola has come out lashing at the reports for being fake. The City boss has denied the inclusion of any such clause in Haaland’s five-year deal he penned this summer, after joining from Borussia Dortmund. Real were one of the frontrunners for the 22-year-old’s signature, but City toppled every other competitor to grab him.
However, former Real Madrid defender Fernando Sanz dropped a bombshell recently that Haaland too dreams of playing for the Los Blancos one day and accordingly asked City to insert the ‘special clause’. The English champions triggered his £51 million release clause and won the race to land him where Real, Barcelona, PSG, Bayern Munich and Chelsea all were fancying their chances. They have so far reaped the rewards as well, as Haaland has bagged a whopping 19 goals in just 11 games so far.
Guardiola slams Erling Haaland transfer reports as he clears the striker is ‘happy’ at the club
Erling Haaland’s transfer was the headline of this summer as a fierce race had ensued to secure his services. Real Madrid, who were also on the back of the striker however pressed on their deal for PSG’s Kylian Mbappe. The Frenchman was all set to join the Lo Blancos, only to make a U-turn and extend his stay at the Parisian club in a mammoth deal which made him the best paid player in the world.
Real missed out on Haaland as well, much to annoyance of their president Florentino Perez who now wants the striker in 2024. According to Sanz, the clause in Haaland’s City contract gives Real the priority to bid for the Norwegian in the summer of 2024 over other potential suitors. The clause also enables Real to negotiate directly with the player by snubbing talks with Man City according to Sanz. However, Guardiola in his post-match presser after the Copenhagen game where Haaland scored a brace, dismissed such reports. The Spaniard said:
“It’s not true. He [Erling Haaland] has not got a release clause for Real Madrid or any other team. It’s not true. That’s all I can say. Absolutely not [it is not annoying]. There are rumours and people talk, and you cannot control it. We always have to worry about what we can control.
“The important thing is he can adapt really well, I have the feeling he is happy here. We tried with him and all of them, the people who stayed here, and made them happy. This is the most important thing.
“At the end, what’s going to happen in the future? Who knows it? Nobody knows it. What’s important is he’s happy and settled perfectly and incredibly loved by everyone. This is the most important thing.”
Erling Haaland is seemingly enjoying his life at City, smashing around goals for fun. However, the lure of Real Madrid is hard to resist as everybody knows and the striker too would definitely want to don the famous white shirt of the record Champions League winners. Moreover, his father Alf-Inge Haaland too had admitted that his son wants to “test out his capabilities in every league”.
A move to Real seems far away at the moment, but Haaland would certainly be eyeing it in the future. The striker is just getting started at City and will be hoping to lift the Champions League trophy with the club, which is the only missing title from Guardiola’s cabinet at the Etihad. Haaland will be back in action at the weekend when Manchester City take on Southampton in the Premier League, as the 22-year-old will look to add to his tally of 14 goals in the league.