Erling Haaland will remain at Borussia Dortmund regardless of where they finish in the Bundesliga this season, according to sporting director Michael Zorc.

Dortmund are in danger of missing out on Champions League qualification from the Bundesliga and it has been suggested that could result in Haaland moving on.

The 20-year-old has scored 51 goals and supplied 11 assists in 55 appearances in all competitions since arriving at Dortmund from Salzburg in January 2020.

Those goalscoring exploits have seen him linked with a host of major European clubs, including Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain to name but a few.

He was unable to find the back of the net in Wednesday's 2-0 victory over Union Berlin, with Marco Reus opening the scoring on the rebound after the Norway international had a first-half penalty saved.

Dortmund remain four points adrift of fourth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt with four Bundesliga games remaining, but Zorc is confident of holding onto Haaland even if they miss out on a place in next season's Champions League.

"We have made our position clear on the Haaland case," Zorc told Sky Sport.

"The decision will not be made without Borussia Dortmund. No matter where we end up, Erling will continue to play for us."

Raphael Guerreiro wrapped up the win for Dortmund late on against Union, but a booking for Mats Hummels ruled him out of the crunch weekend meeting with third-placed Wolfsburg.

Growing speculation over Erling Haaland's future will not force Borussia Dortmund into setting any deadlines, insists sporting director Michael Zorc.

The Norway international is in high demand after netting 49 goals in 51 appearances for Dortmund, attracting interest from the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City and Manchester United.

Talk of a transfer intensified after Haaland's agent, Mino Raiola, was said to have been in contact with a number of clubs, having reportedly spoken with representatives from Barca and Madrid.

But Zorc, who is eager to keep hold of the 20-year-old, claimed the Bundesliga club would not be rushed into a panic move.

"I don't see the need to set deadlines at the moment [for transfers]," he said on Thursday.

Widespread reports last year suggested Dortmund gave United a deadline in talks over Jadon Sancho, with the winger ultimately staying in Germany.

Zorc continued: "With Erling Haaland, we have a clear stance which we have communicated to the parties involved.

"Yesterday I spoke to Mino Raiola. We've made our intentions very clear. It's no problem when Alfie [Haaland's father] and Mino want to take a sunbathe on the Mediterranean Sea.

"I am relaxed because I know what we want."

Haaland drew a blank this week in Dortmund's Champions League loss to Manchester City, though he still boasts 10 goals in seven appearances in the competition this term.

Since Haaland scored a 23-minute hat-trick on his Dortmund debut, his 49 goals across all competitions have been bettered by only Robert Lewandowski (67) and Cristiano Ronaldo (53) among players in Europe's 'top five' leagues.

He has 21 league goals this season, with Edin Terzic's side sitting fifth in the Bundesliga.

Erling Haaland's agent Mino Raiola was pictured arriving in Barcelona on Thursday, but Borussia Dortmund director Michael Zorc insisted the club have "made our intentions clear" over the striker's future amid ongoing links with the LaLiga giants.

Barca are one of a number of elite teams to have been linked with the Norway international following a goal-laden 15-month spell with Dortmund that has seen him score 49 goals in 49 appearances.

Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City and Manchester United have also showed a reported interest in Haaland, who is believed to have a €75million release clause in his contract that comes into effect from 2022.

But talk of a move to Camp Nou at the end of this season intensified on Thursday after Spanish outlet Sport published a video showing Raiola and Haaland's father, Alf-Inge, emerging from an airport and being driven away in a private car.

It was reported that the driver is a member of Joan Laporta's staff, suggesting Raiola and Haaland senior were on the way to a meeting with the recently elected Barca president.

However, when questioned about the alleged meeting, Dortmund chief Zorc said he is "relaxed" about the 20-year-old's future and joked his entourage may have jetted to Catalonia for another reason entirely.

"I spoke to Mino Raiola yesterday. We've made our intentions very clear," he told Sport1

"There's no problem if Alfie and Mino want to sunbath on the Mediterranean Sea. I am relaxed because I know what we want!"

Speaking last week, Raiola suggested he was too cautious when moving star client Haaland from Salzburg to Dortmund in January 2020 and hinted the in-demand striker may seek pastures new in the next window.

Haaland has scored 21 goals in as many Bundesliga games this term, adding another 10 from six games in the Champions League, a competition in which he tops the scoring charts.

Michael Zorc disagrees with Mino Raiola's assessment that as many as 10 clubs would realistically be in the running to buy Erling Haaland if he wanted to leave Borussia Dortmund.

The Norway international has been prolific since joining the Bundesliga club midway through the 2019-20 season, scoring 43 goals in as many appearances in all competitions.

Haaland's contract is rumoured to include an agreement allowing him to leave for a €75million fee at the end of the 2021-22 campaign.

Raiola, the striker's agent, said this week that a list of potential buyers only just reaches double figures, with four possible destinations in the Premier League.

While Dortmund sporting director Zorc has no problem with Raiola speaking out on Haaland's future, he believes even fewer clubs would appeal to the 20-year-old if he decides to move on.

"It is clear that Erling Haaland can't and won't pick just any club after his time at Dortmund," he told a media conference.

"I can't even pick out 10 possible clubs. So, there is no dissent. It was a normal statement he [Raiola] has to give from time to time. 

"We are happy to have Erling here with us and that he has scored in the last games and proven his value for us. I can only say that we will continue to plan with him and I don't think he is uncomfortable here in Dortmund."

Zorc also acknowledged the impressive form of ex-Dortmund striker Alexander Isak, who has scored 12 goals in 16 LaLiga starts for Real Sociedad this season. 

The Spanish side acquired him in a deal worth a reported €7.5m in 2019, but Dortmund managed to retain a buy-back clause. 

Zorc did not reveal if Dortmund were interested in re-signing Isak, but confirmed the club are keeping a close eye on the Sweden international's progress. 

"We think he made the right step going to Real Sociedad," he added. "In the beginning he impressed as a substitute and scored goals. 

"He has become a regular starter this season and scored a lot of goals in the past weeks. Of course, we are following all that."

Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc insisted there had been "no offers at all" for reported Arsenal target Julian Brandt.

Brandt, 24, has been linked with a move to the Premier League club in January.

But Zorc said no offers had arrived for the midfielder, who is contracted at Dortmund until 2024.

"I don't want to answer any rumours that were made by the media. Now there is permanently a name [Brandt] coined that we don't even think about giving up on," he told a news conference.

"Overall, we look at many different scenarios primarily due to an economical background that is simply not the best due to the ongoing pandemic.

"But I can only repeat myself again. We have no offers at all."

Dortmund, who are fourth in the Bundesliga, visit RB Leipzig on Saturday.

Julian Nagelsmann has no intention of swapping RB Leipzig for Borussia Dortmund despite being suggested as a permanent successor to Lucien Favre. 

Leipzig boss Nagelsmann is considered one of the most promising coaches in European football and led his team to the Champions League semi-finals last season. 

The 33-year-old, who has a contract at the Red Bull Arena until 2023, has been touted as a candidate to take over Dortmund next season, with Edin Terzic having replaced Favre on an interim basis in December. 

However, Nagelsmann insists there is no need for anyone associated with Leipzig to worry about what the future holds because he intends to stay put. 

"There is no reason to be tense regarding Dortmund," Nagelsmann said ahead of a Bundesliga meeting with BVB on Saturday. 

"The situation with Dortmund has remained the same as it was during my time as Hoffenheim coach. There was and there is no match. 

"I am comfortable and I have big targets to achieve with Leipzig. As I said, there is no reason for anyone at RB Leipzig to get nervous regarding Dortmund."

Leipzig sit second in the Bundesliga table, six points ahead of fourth-placed Dortmund and two adrift of leaders Bayern Munich. 

Asked about Nagelsmann during a pre-match news conference on Thursday, BVB sporting director Michael Zorc said: "Despite his age, Julian has had a remarkable managerial career. With Hoffenheim, he was able to work sensationally well, now he's having a just as sensational season with Leipzig. 

"I believe, it is undisputed that he's a complete football expert. He always implements innovation into his coaching technique. He is always able to get his team to work well. 

"We need to try to fight against that on Saturday. We already came up against each other a few times and it's not like we had no success at all in these match-ups. 

"I see ourselves, also due to the position in the table, in the role of the hunter. We want to minimise the gap between us and to the top of the table."

Erling Haaland is undergoing his rehabilitation from a hamstring injury in Qatar, Borussia Dortmund's sporting director Michael Zorc has confirmed.

Haaland was left out of Dortmund's squad for their Champions League encounter with Lazio on December 2, with the club subsequently revealing the Norway sensation had suffered a hamstring injury in training.

His absence was felt as Dortmund were held to 1-1 draws by both Lazio and Eintracht Frankfurt, though Lucien Favre's side did then beat Zenit to finish top of their Champions League group.

Favre put Haaland's injury down to an accumulation of games, with the 20-year-old having featured 14 times for Dortmund prior to his injury.

Zorc has now confirmed the striker is recovering in Qatar after requesting permission to travel.

"He is surrounded by experts, it was his wish. He is in contact with us," Zorc told reporters.

"That's why we agreed in the end. The first progress has already been made. He also adheres to the [coronavirus] hygiene rules there."

Haaland has already scored 17 times for Dortmund in all competitions this term, with 10 of those goals coming in the Bundesliga.

From just eight league appearances, the former Salzburg prodigy – who switched Austria for Germany last December despite interest from Manchester United – has also provided two assists. He averages a goal every 65 minutes and six seconds in this season's competition.

All of Haaland's Bundesliga strikes this season have come from inside the box, nine with his left foot and one with his right.

From 13 'big chances', as defined by Opta, Haaland has scored eight times for a conversion rate of 61.54 per cent – the best of Bundesliga players to have been presented with more than 10 such opportunities this term.

Jadon Sancho will break out of his form slump and get back to his best for Borussia Dortmund, according to sporting director Michael Zorc.

After an incredible 2019-20 season during which he scored 20 goals and provided 19 assists in 44 games, Sancho has battled to begin this campaign.

In 12 games, the England international has netted three times and provided four assists, and he is yet to open his account in the Bundesliga.

Speaking ahead of Dortmund's trip to Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday, Zorc backed the attacker.

"I believe it is easy to see that he is not in the best of form," he told a news conference.

"I can tell he tries hard when he's subbed onto the pitch. He tries to force the lightness and fluidity that he has onto himself.

"Jadon is a player who doesn't talk a lot but who delivers answers on the pitch. Whether this is tomorrow, in a week or at some other point, I don't know.

"What I do know is that it will happen."

Still linked with a move to Manchester United, Sancho is being presented with fewer chances at Dortmund.

His big chance total per 90 minutes in the Bundesliga this season is 0.33 – the lowest since his debut in Germany's top flight in 2017.

However, Sancho is having more shots (2.15 per 90 minutes) and shots from inside the box (1.49) than in any other season.

His 38.78 successful passes in the opposition half per 90 minutes is also his highest, as are his 64.14 passes, but his chances created are well down at 1.82. He managed 2.71 per 90 last season.

With Erling Haaland sidelined due to a hamstring injury, Dortmund – who are fourth in the Bundesliga table – will be hoping Sancho can recapture his goalscoring form to finish 2020.

Youssoufa Moukoko has become the Bundesliga's youngest ever player after making his Borussia Dortmund debut against Hertha Berlin on Saturday.

Moukoko, who turned 16 on Friday, made his long-awaited senior bow for Dortmund as a second-half substitute in Berlin with Dortmund 5-2 to the good - Golden Boy winner Erling Haaland boasting an incredible four-goal haul.

The youngster had long been considered an immense prospect in the Dortmund academy, having toppled numerous goalscoring records.

Among them was his impressive haul of 34 strikes from just 20 games in the Bundesliga's youth division last season, while he also became the UEFA Youth League's youngest scorer when still 14 in October 2019.

Previously, Bundesliga licensing rules made it tricky for players to feature in Germany's top tier before the age of 17, with 16 years and six months the absolute minimum age to gain eligibility.

But those regulations were changed in April, allowing for players to become eligible on their 16th birthday, and Moukoko is the first to take advantage.

At 16 years and one day, he has comfortably surpassed the record set by former BVB talent Nuri Sahin (16 years, 11 months and one day) – Yann Bisseck (16y, 11m and 28d) is the only other player to have featured in the Bundesliga before turning 17.

Moukoko is also likely to eventually set a new record as the league's youngest scorer as well, assuming he can make his mark in the next 13 months – the holder of that feat is Bayer Leverkusen prodigy Florian Wirtz (17y, 1m, 3d) following his maiden goal in June.

Club sporting director Michael Zorc expressed concern over the hype surrounding Moukoko in the media earlier this week, but following his historic debut on Saturday, there is little hope of that calming anytime soon.

At long last, one of the world's most promising young footballers is eligible to make his professional bow, as Borussia Dortmund prodigy Youssoufa Moukoko turned 16 on Friday.

The Germany Under-20 international has long given Dortmund coaches, players and fans cause for excitement, with his accomplishments in the club's academy over the past few years attracting widespread attention.

He made history on the European stage a little over a year ago in October 2019 when, still just 14, became the youngest ever goalscorer in the UEFA Youth League – the previous record-holders had been well over a year older when they netted their first goals.

The previous season Moukoko had scored 50 goals and earned his promotion to Dortmund's Under-19s, and he took to that level with similar comfort, setting a new record as he scored 34 goals from just 20 games in the Bundesliga's youth division.

And such form has continued into the 2020-21 campaign with a remarkable haul of 10 goals in just three league matches.

Finally, his shot at the big time appears to be here.

A long time coming 


But why has it seemingly taken so long for Moukoko to be introduced to first-team football? After all, former Dortmund star Nuri Sahin, the current record-holder as the Bundesliga's youngest-ever player, believes the youngster is wasting his time in the Under-19s.

Sahin told Kicker: "Youssoufa must now take the next step - the Under-19s is too easy for him."

Well, quite, but German Football League (DFL) regulations have long been rather strict regarding the minimum age of its players.

Generally, before this season, players have had to be 17 years old in order to get a DFL gaming license – the absolute earliest they could make their professional debut until 2020-21 was 16 years and six months.

However, that was altered in April to allow players to become eligible at the age of 16, bringing the Bundesliga in line with many of Europe's other major leagues.

Therefore, with Moukoko's 16th birthday on Friday, there is the very real possibility of the teenager being involved in a Bundesliga match for the first time this weekend as Dortmund go to Hertha Berlin on Saturday.

While undoubtedly a step up, Dortmund have worked to ensure Moukoko doesn't suffer too much of a shock to his system, with sporting director Michael Zorc revealing in June that the youngster was to be integrated with the first-team squad "immediately" so he could be used in the top flight from his 16th birthday.

His time has come.

Historic feats within reach

Given Moukoko will be the first player to benefit from this rule alteration and his debut could come literally a day after he becomes eligible, there are several records waiting to be smashed.

As previously mentioned, Sahin holds both the club and Bundesliga record for the youngest debutant having been 16 years, 11 months and one day old.

The only other player to feature in the Bundesliga before turning 17 was Yann Bisseck (16 years, 11 months and 28 days) for Cologne in November 2017, though unfortunately he was unable to sustain that breakthrough and has spent most of his time since out on loan.

There are three other Dortmund players in the top 10 youngest Bundesliga debutants – Ibrahim Tanko (17y, 1m, 30d) in September 1994 and current first-team talents Giovanni Reyna (17y, 2m, 5d) and Jude Bellingham (17y, 2m, 21d) in January and September this year, respectively.

Sahin (17y, 2m, 21d) had also held the record for the Bundesliga's youngest goalscorer until Bayer Leverkusen's gifted winger Florian Wirtz (17y, 1m, 3d) came along and snatched it away in June this year.

Nevertheless, that too looks set to be smashed by Moukoko assuming he makes a bright start to his Bundesliga career, and given the ease at which he has taken to pretty much every other challenge until now, few would bet against him.

Erling Haaland recently suggested Moukoko is even better than he was at the same age – a scary thought if you are a defender employed in the Bundesliga.

They have been warned.

Erling Haaland is "almost obsessed with success" but comparing him with Robert Lewandowski is pointless, according to Michael Zorc.

Two of Europe's most feared strikers go head to head on Saturday when Borussia Dortmund host Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga.

Lewandowski was the top scorer in Europe's top-five leagues last season, hitting 51 goals to propel Bayern to a treble triumph, and he set a Bundesliga record by scoring 10 goals in the first five matchdays of 2020-21.

Haaland, meanwhile, has managed five goals in as many Bundesliga appearances this term from a total of 15 shots. That puts the Dortmund striker's shot conversion rate at 29.4, a little way behind Lewandowski's 34.5, but he has scored 66.7 per cent of his certified big chances this term, a better tally than Lewandowski's (58.3).

Haaland is 12 years Lewandowski's junior and Dortmund sporting director Zorc feels it is too soon to compare the two, although the 20-year-old's determination to succeed seems likely to see him reach similar standards.

"They are different types of players. They score a lot of goals, but they have a different age," Zorc told reporters ahead of the Klassiker.

"We're happy to have Erling. He's not just good for us because of goals, but also because he exudes a will to improve all the time.

"He's almost obsessed with success. The comparisons are for journalists and experts, not us."

Head coach Lucien Favre believes Haaland is important in terms of not conceding goals, not only scoring them.

Dortmund conceded 44 Bundesliga goals in Favre's first season in charge, which improved to 41 in 2019-20. They also kept 15 clean sheets last term compared to 10 this season before.

They faced fewer shots on target (106) than in 2018-19 (134), something Favre says is down to improved defending from across the team, as they attempt to set a Bundesliga record of five consecutive clean sheets.

"We were okay in the first year, we didn't concede a lot of goals in the first half of the season, but now we're doing better," he said.

"What matters is that we all defend. A team has to defend together – that starts with the striker. It's the whole team that has to do it."

Bayern have won all three competitive games against Dortmund under Hansi Flick, including the DFL-Supercup in September, when they triumphed 3-2.

They effectively ended Dortmund's title hopes in May with a 1-0 win at Signal Iduna Park, courtesy of Joshua Kimmich's sublime chip, but BVB were aggrieved Haaland was not awarded a penalty when a shot struck Jerome Boateng's arm in the box.

"I think the attraction is always very great. We saw the last two games were close, with only one goal settling both," said Zorc.

"We lost the last home game because of a blatantly bad decision. That's beyond dispute. We have self-confidence and we want to throw everything into the mix tomorrow to win."

Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc insisted Manchester United target Jadon Sancho will not be sold before the transfer window closes.

Sancho has emerged as United's number one transfer target, though the Premier League giants have been unable to prise the England international from Dortmund.

Dortmund have been adamant Sancho will stay in 2020-21, with United so far unwilling to meet the Bundesliga club's €120million (£108m) asking price.

With United reportedly still trying to negotiate a deal before Monday's deadline, Zorc issued a warning having previously declared the 20-year-old will continue at Dortmund.

"Obviously we have talked to Manchester United in the past," said Zorc, who has fielded repeated questions about Sancho's future.

"But everything that needs to be said regarding this topic has already been said by me and all the people in charge at Borussia Dortmund.

"This will not change over the next three days."

Dortmund head coach Lucien Favre was also asked about Sancho, who missed Wednesday's 3-2 DFL-Supercup loss to Bayern Munich.

As Dortmund prepare for Saturday's Bundesliga fixture against Freiburg, Favre said: "Jadon has a slight cold, we'll see."

Jadon Sancho is staying at Borussia Dortmund despite reported interest from Manchester United, according to the Bundesliga club's sporting director Michael Zorc.

England international Sancho – who joined Dortmund from Manchester City in 2017 – has become a star in the Bundesliga.

Sancho provided 20 assists and scored 20 goals in all competitions for Dortmund in 2019-20, after scoring 13 times and setting up 19 goals in the previous season.

Premier League giants United are rumoured to have made signing the 20-year-old a top priority but on Monday – reportedly a deadline Dortmund had set for any deal to be struck – Zorc insisted the winger, whose current deal runs until 2022, was staying put.

"We plan on having Jadon Sancho in our team this season, the decision is final," Zorc told reporters at Dortmund's pre-season training camp.

"I think that answers all our questions."

"Last summer we adjusted Jadon's salary to match the development of his performances. So in context, we had already extended his contract until 2023 back then."

Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said the Bundesliga club would be happy for Jadon Sancho to stay in 2020-21 as Manchester United reportedly try to negotiate a blockbuster transfer.

Sancho has been tipped to swap Dortmund for United and the Premier League giants are nearing a deal for the England star after securing their Champions League status, according to growing speculation.

Dortmund, however, are apparently unwilling to lower their asking price for Sancho as the German side seek £109million (€120m) from United.

Zorc addressed the rumours regarding Sancho on Thursday, saying: "Jadon is an outstanding footballer with a quota that I have never seen at this age.

"I think it would even stand up to being one of the largest in the industry if you look at its age.

"I would be happy if he would still play with us this season. And that's the current state of affairs.

"First of all we have to stick to the facts - and they are so, that we still have a contract with him until 2022."

Sancho left Manchester City for Dortmund in 2017 in pursuit of first-team football, and quickly established himself in the Bundesliga.

The 20-year-old scored 17 Bundesliga goals and supplied 16 assists in 2019-20 as Dortmund finished second behind champions Bayern Munich, while he netted 20 goals across all competitions.

Amid question marks over Sancho's future, former Manchester United forward and current Lyon captain Memphis Depay has reportedly emerged as a possible replacement for the Englishman at Dortmund.

Borussia Dortmund see no need to sign a back-up to goalscoring prodigy Erling Haaland.

Norway striker Haaland has been a revelation since moving to the Bundesliga in January, continuing the prolific form he enjoyed at Salzburg to score 16 goals in 18 appearances across all competitions for BVB.

Paco Alcacer left Dortmund during the same window, the Spain international moving back to LaLiga to join Villarreal.

It means a lack of specialist cover only heightens Lucien Favre's dependence upon the 20-year-old Haaland, but Dortmund's sporting director Michael Zorc suggested weaknesses are in other areas ahead of their latest attempt to haul in Bayern Munich.

 "We didn't score too few goals last season," Zorc told Kicker, with Favre's men scoring 84 times in 34 matches as they finished the 2019-20 campaign 13 points shy of Bayern.

Zorc feels Favre's fluid attacking approach, which has seen the likes of Jadon Sancho, Thorgan Hazard and teenager Giovanni Reyna occupy central attacking roles at various points, means there is no need to add another traditional striker to the mix.

"In this sense, there is no classic nine anymore," he said.

Haaland's reported release clause of €75million could yet nudge some of Europe's heavyweight clubs into action, although Sancho's future is currently a subject of greater speculation.

The England winger has been linked with a return to his homeland, with Manchester United reported to be the frontrunners for his signature.

Dortmund have already secured the services of Thomas Meunier and English teenager Jude Bellingham, and Zorc feels their business might be done with regards to incomings – a situation that would change if Sancho departs.

"If Jadon leaves, there is a need for action," he added.

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