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Raiola opens door for Barcelona but striker could stay at Dortmund

Erling Haaland could still stay at Borussia Dortmund but “can wait for anybody” amid demand from Europe’s top clubs, including Barcelona, according to the player’s agent Mino Raiola.

Haaland signed for Dortmund from Salzburg after the Bundesliga side met his €20million release clause in December 2019 and has dominated the German top flight since his arrival.

The Norway international became the quickest player to 50 goals in the Bundesliga when he reached the milestone in his 50th appearance, and the youngest to do so at just 21, while only Robert Lewandowski (58) has scored more goals than Haaland (43) across all competitions in Europe’s top-five leagues in 2021.

Haaland has also scored 30 Bundesliga goals this calendar year – a new Dortmund record, surpassing Lothar Emmerich (29 goals in 1966) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (29 goals in 2015).

The 21-year-old is reported to have a €75million buy-out clause that will kick in at the end of the season, putting Europe’s elite on high alert.

Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke expressed his belief on Sunday that Haaland should stay and Raiola has refused to rule that possibility out, though he did speculate on a potential move to Barcelona, whose financial issues may well mean a move has to be delayed.

“Could Haaland wait for Barcelona? He can wait for anybody,” Raiola said to NOS. “We don’t have a pre-agreement with any club.

“We’ll look for the best option for him and I can’t rule out another year at Dortmund. Theoretically, that’s still possible.”

Barca are undergoing a difficult period under new head coach Xavi. They sit seventh in LaLiga and are already out of the Champions League, after the departure of Blaugrana legend Lionel Messi following the club’s well-publicised financial difficulties.

Raiola, however, believes Barca will soon be back.

“Barcelona will always be one of the world’s biggest clubs,” Raiola added. “Even despite their current situation.

“In a year or two they’ll be back. They have the power to find great economic agreements. They’ll only need a year or two to get back.”

Haaland has 13 goals in 11 Bundesliga appearances this term, while his tally increases to 19 across all competitions.

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Haaland not guaranteed to leave Dortmund in 2022

Mino Raiola has moved to clarify comments he made this week regarding Erling Haaland’s future, insisting it is not a foregone conclusion that the striker will leave Borussia Dortmund next year. 

Haaland, who has scored 51 Bundesliga goals in 52 appearances since making his Dortmund bow last year, is already one of the world’s leading goalscorers.

Among players in Europe’s top five leagues, only Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski (100) has scored more goals than Haaland (74) across all competitions since January 18, 2020, when he first played for BVB.

The 21-year-old is rumoured to be a target for Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona and the two Manchester clubs, with reports suggesting he has a €75million buy-out clause that will kick in at the end of the season.

Dortmund’s chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has described those claims as “rumour” and would not confirm the clause.

In an interview with Sport1 published on Thursday, Raiola claimed: “We have been thinking about his future for two years. We have clear ideas about where he should go and, of course, we look at what the market will offer. 

“With a player like him, we can influence the market, we will not be influenced.

“I changed the transfer market and today we agents have created a new game alongside football: the transfer market. Today two days a week we talk about football, in the other five about the transfer market.”

A second part of the interview, published on Friday, had Raiola naming four clubs – Bayern, Madrid, Barca and Manchester City – as the only teams that could afford to buy the Norway international.

However, Raiola on Saturday issued a statement aiming to clear up his quotes.

“I want to clarify the following about the Sport1 interview,” a post on his official Twitter account read.

“The four clubs I mentioned about Haaland’s future were just an example to say that, when he leaves, he will go to one of the top 15 European clubs.”

Raiola also stressed Haaland may well stay at Dortmund for another season.

“Now Erling’s focus is solely on football, there are no negotiations with any club,” Raiola’s statement continued.

“And I reaffirm what I said – it’s not a sure thing he will leave this summer [2022 off-season], maybe it will be the one after that.”

Haaland, who has only recently returned from injury, could not help Dortmund to victory against Bochum on Saturday, with Julian Brandt rescuing a 1-1 draw for Marco Rose’s team, who are six points behind Bundesliga leaders Bayern.

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Real boost for City and Chelsea in Haaland race

Manchester City and Chelsea have been handed a huge boost in the race to sign Erling Haaland.

Spanish giants Real Madrid have reportedly accepted the Norwegian is destined to move to the Premier League.

Haaland, 21, has a £64million release clause that comes into play at the end of the season.

And with Europe’s biggest clubs all interested in signing him, Borussia Dortmund expect to lose their star striker.

But The Sun say the feeling at the Bernabeu is Haaland will likely end up playing English football.

Real are clear favourites to sign Kylian Mbappe on a free when his contract at Paris Saint-Germain expires next year. 

But their dream of pairing the two hottest young stars in football alongside each other in the Spanish capital appears to be over.

And that will be music to the ears of the bigwigs at the Etihad, Stamford Bridge and maybe even Old Trafford.

Like City and Chelsea, Manchester United have previously been linked with a move for Haaland.

Pep Guardiola heaped praise on the forward before the Citizens faced Dortmund in the Champions League quarter-finals last season.

He said: “To score that number of goals at his age is not easy. The numbers speak for themselves.

“When that happens it’s because he can score with the right, the left, via counter-attacks, in the box. He’s a fantastic striker, everyone knows it.”

Haaland has 13 goals in 10 games this season but has missed time with injuries and is expected to remain on the sidelines until next month, 

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Erling Haaland scored twice, including a spectacular lob, to guide Borussia Dortmund to a 4-2 victory over Union Berlin on Sunday which lifted them to second in the Bundesliga.

Norwegian Haaland has now scored seven times in the league this season while taking his total tally to an impressive 68 goals in 67 games in all competitions for Dortmund.

The visitors had the first good chance in the first minute but Dortmund quickly took control with Raphael Guerreiro firing them in front after a lightning-quick passing move that left the Union defence frozen in the 10th minute.

With Dortmund’s Donyell Malen wreaking havoc with his speed down the wing, it was only a matter of time until they added to their score line. But it was Union who did it for them when defender Marvin Friedrich’s clumsy clearance of a Marco Reus cutback landed in his own net in the 52nd.

“We made it today again unnecessarily difficult for us,” said Dortmund captain Reus. “We are 3-0 up, concede a silly goal then one from a set piece. The fourth or fifth time this season.

“You invest an enormous amount and we just can’t gift away goals like that. We have to quickly start working on that. But we are happy to have won the game.”

Max Kruse’s penalty five minutes later cut the deficit and Andreas Voglsammer’s 81st minute header gave Union hope briefly before Haaland latched onto a deep Mat Hummels cross, saw keeper Andreas Luthe off his line and lobbed the ball high over him to restore order with a remarkable finish.

Dortmund’s third league win in a row lifted them to 12 points, one behind Bayern Munich. The leaders thrashed VfL Bochum 7-0 on Saturday.

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Borussia Dortmund have completed the signing of Netherlands forward Donyell Malen from PSV Eindhoven on a five-year contract, it was announced on Tuesday.

The 22-year-old arrives following the departure of Jadon Sancho to Manchester United for €85 million.

“Borussia Dortmund is a top European club that is always at the top of the Bundesliga and also has high demands on itself in the Champions League,” Malen said.

“I can hardly wait to be on the pitch with my new teammates, to be able to measure myself against the best. And of course I’m looking forward to the fans and the stadium that all of Europe raves about.”

Malen, who played for Ajax and Arsenal at youth level, moved to PSV in 2017 and played for Jong PSV in the second tier. He won Player of the Year in his first season. He made four first-team appearances for the side which won the Eredivisie title in 2017-18.

The following campaign, he was promoted to the senior side and scored 10 league goals. In 2020-21, he finished the season with 27 in all competitions — his best-ever single season tally.

Malen has 13 Netherlands caps and was part of the Euro 2020 squad, starting two matches, including the surprise round of 16 defeat to Czech Republic.

“Donyell is a player with great offensive potential, who exudes goal danger, brings his creativity to the table and has a high speed,” BVB director Michael Zorc added.

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Manchester United is delighted to announce the signing of Jadon Sancho, subject to international clearance, keeping him at the club until June 2026, with an option of a further year.
Sancho, 21, scored 50 goals and registered 64 assists in four seasons with Borussia Dortmund. The England International was part of the squad that reached the final of Euro 2020.

Jadon Sancho said:

“I’ll always be grateful to Dortmund for giving me the opportunity to play first team football, although I always knew that I would return to England one day. The chance to join Manchester United is a dream come true and I just cannot wait to perform in the Premier League. This is a young and exciting squad and I know, together, we can develop into something special to bring the success that the fans deserve. I am looking forward to working with the Manager and his coaching team to further develop my game.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said:

“Jadon epitomises the type of player I want to bring to the club, he is a forward player in the best traditions of Manchester United. He will form an integral part of my squad for years to come and we look forward to seeing him blossom. His goals and assists records speak for themselves and he will also bring tremendous pace, flair and creativity to the team.

“Old Trafford will give him the platform he needs to release his untapped talent and perform at the highest level. For a player of his age, Jadon has already achieved a great deal and showed the courage to go and prove himself abroad. We all look forward to welcoming Jadon to the squad as we prepare for the new campaign.”

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Chelsea prepared to bid £150m for Erling Haaland

Chelsea are reportedly prepared to tempt Borussia Dortmund with a £150m bid for Erling Braut Haaland.

The Blues have been heavily linked with a move for the Norway international since winning their second Champions League trophy in May.

Dortmund are allegedly keen to retain the services of the 20-year-old for at least one more season, despite the prospect of losing their most prized asset for a much lower fee next year.

However, according to 90 min, Chelsea believe that an offer of £150m will be enough to agree a transfer during the summer window.

The report adds that discussions have already been held with Haaland’s representatives, where it was determined that personal terms would not be a stumbling block.

While Real Madrid are also said to be keen on the frontman, they are not in a position to meet the player’s asking price in 2021.

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Manchester United have agreed a deal in principle to sign England winger Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund for 85million euros (£72.9m), reports say

United have been heavily linked for several months with a big-money move for Sancho, who has been given the go-ahead by Dortmund to agree personal terms and complete a medical before joining Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.

Sancho, a Manchester City academy product, left the north west to sign for Dortmund in August 2017 and has made 137 appearances in all competitions for the German club, scoring 50 goals.

It is understood the agreement between the clubs includes no add-ons for the 21-year-old attacker, currently on duty with England at Euro 2020, where he has been restricted to one substitute appearance so far.

Speculation was rife last summer that United would bring Sancho to Old Trafford but the club and Dortmund seemed to be far apart in the valuation of the player, reportedly then priced by the Bundesliga club at 120m euros (£106m).

However, a transfer has taken a major step forward and the pacey Sancho’s arrival would add a cutting edge to a side that lacked a spark in the attacking third in their Europa League final defeat against Villarreal in May.

United settled for second spot in the Premier League last season – their joint-best finish in the top-flight since 2012-13 – albeit they were 12 points adrift of champions City.

Sancho, capped 20 times by Gareth Southgate’s side, with three goals, would become the second most expensive Englishman if he completes his switch to United, who signed Harry Maguire two years ago from Leicester for £80m.

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Bayern Munich have won their ninth consecutive Bundesliga title thanks to RB Leipzig’s 3-2 defeat to Borusia Dortmund on Saturday which came before Hansi Flick’s side celebrated with a 6-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach.

The Bavarians could have clinched the championship crown two weeks ago, but fell to a shock 2-1 defeat at Mainz. Leipzig’s subsequent victory over Stuttgart kept the title race alive through the break for the DFB Pokal semifinals. But their loss in Dortmund makes Bayern national champions for the 31st time, with 30 coming in the Bundesliga era.

Jadon Sancho scored in the final minutes of the match to seal victory for Dortmund, and spark celebrations in Bavaria.

Nine Bundesliga titles in succession extends Bayern’s own record, with no one else — including the Munich giants — having won more than three in a row prior to this run.

The 2020-21 campaign also marks the end of an era at the Allianz Arena as David Alaba, Jerome Boateng and Javi Martinez are set to leave this summer.

Bayern manager Flick will also leave the club after just over 18 months where he won seven trophies and became only the second coach after Pep Guardiola at Barcelona in 2009 to win six trophies in a single calendar year. Flick has been linked with the managerial role at Germany, where he could take over from Joachim Low after this summer’s European Championship. Flick will be replaced as Bayern manager by Julian Nagelsmann, who will leave Leipzig at the end of the season.

Last term, Bayern completed an historic second Treble of Bundesliga, DFB Pokal and Champions League.

They kicked off this season the with an 8-0 win over Schalke, Bayern led for most of the season and have been in first place since a 2-1 away win at Bayer Leverkusen in December when striker Robert Lewandowski scored a brace including a stoppage-time winner.

Bayern never looked back as they picked up key wins in the latter stages of the season. Against Dortmund in early March they turned an early 2-0 deficit into a 4-2 win, and a month on they won 1-0 away at Leipzig, who had been threatening a title challenge.

Chief executive officer Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is also set to vacate his position in December 2021. Rummenigge will leave after 30 years at the club, with 20 of those as the CEO. Former Germany and Bayern captain Oliver Kahn is set to take over in the front office.

Boateng, Alaba and Martinez have each enjoyed two Treble successes at the club, having been with Bayern when they achieved the same feat in 2013.

The rift between Flick, who succeeded Niko Kovac in November 2019, and sporting executive Hasan Salihamidzic overshadowed a large part of 2021. The pair fell out over the club’s transfer strategy and Flick in mid-April confirmed he believed his time at Bayern is coming to an end despite having a contract until 2023.

With Bayern out of the Pokal and the Champions League, they have now set their sights on helping attacker Lewandowski to the all-time record of goals scored in a single season. That record is held by Gerd Muller, who scored 40 goals in the 1971-1972 season.

Lewandowski now has 36 goals after his consolation strike in the defeat to Mainz and needs five more from the final five matches of the campaign to break Muller’s record.

The 32-year-old Poland striker this season rose to second in the all-time Bundesliga scorer list and is on 272 goals but remains well behind Muller, who scored 365 times for Bayern.

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United States international Giovanni Reyna scored twice as Borussia Dortmund struck four times in 16 first-half minutes to crushed second division Holstein Kiel 5-0 on Saturday to reach the German Cup final where they will face RB Leipzig

Top scorer Erling Haaland was sidelined with a muscle injury but his power was hardly missed as Dortmund exploded into action after 16 minutes, with Reyna finding just enough space inside the box to thread a shot into the back of the net.

The American then tapped in a second goal from close range after good work and a back flick each from Marco Reus and Raphael Guerreiro seven minutes later, before captain Reus got onto the scoresheet himself in the 26th.

Thorgan Hazard fired their fourth in the 32nd as hapless visitors Holstein, who had eliminated holders Bayern Munich in the second round, clearly lacked match practice after having come back late last month from 28 days of quarantine.

“Today we were very efficient in front of goal and we are happy to have reached the final,” Reus said. “What we want is to qualify for the Champions League and bring the Cup to Dortmund.”

“We cannot stop working now and we will see what we can achieve,” he said.

Dortmund also face second-placed Leipzig in the league next week as they battle for a top-four finish and a spot in next season’s Champions League.

Jude Bellingham’s deflected effort in the 42nd made it 5-0 to give Dortmund coach Edin Terzic the chance to win his first silverware before making way for Marco Rose next season.

But there was some bad news when their Spanish defender Mateu Morey went off on a stretcher in the second half with what looked a serious knee injury after he twisted it sprinting for the ball and his scream could be heard across the empty stands.

“It was a perfect evening until that point,” Terzic said. “We saw what happened and heard his reactions, just terrible. Now we just wish him the best. He is off to hospital.”

Dortmund, who last won the Cup in 2017, will face Leipzig, who eliminated Werder Bremen in extra time on Friday, at Berlin’s Olympic stadium on May 13.