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 d

"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.

Real Madrid are "very interested" in Erling Haaland but Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke wants the in-demand striker to stay in the Bundesliga.

Haaland joined Dortmund from Salzburg after the Bundesliga side met his €20million release clause in December 2019 and has dominated the German top flight from there on in.

The Norway international became the quickest to 50 goals in the Bundesliga and the youngest to do so at just 21, while Robert Lewandowski (58) is the only player to score more goals than Haaland (43) across all competitions in Europe's top-five leagues in 2021.

Haaland is reported to have a €75million buy-out clause that will come into force at the end of the season, with his name already being touted among Europe's elite by his agent Mino Raiola.

Madrid, who missed out on Kylian Mbappe in the last transfer window, are said to be one of the leading candidates for Haaland's signature.

However, Dortmund chief Watzke believes the 21-year-old will be best served to stay put.

"No matter where I go, everyone speaks to you about Erling Haaland," Watzke told German outlet BILD.

"All I know is a guarantee that Real Madrid are very interested in him. 

"I could name 25 others now. But I know for sure, it can be that he leaves, but it can also be that he stays. A few days ago I had a very good conversation with Mino Raiola, when we are in a target corridor, the conversations are always quite friendly and that phone call was quite friendly. 

"We will certainly have another meeting in the next few weeks. The focus is on the overall development of Haaland. 

"Just like with Lewandowski, I would like to be proud of Erling at some point if he wins the Champions League. Personally, I think it's good for him if he stays in the Bundesliga a little longer."

 

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

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

Marco Rose's side sit nine points off leaders Bayern Munich heading into the German top flight's mid-season break after a disappointing 3-2 loss at Hertha Berlin on Saturday.

Borussia Dortmund head coach Marco Rose lauded Erling Haaland's "extraordinary" maturity amid mounting transfer speculation.

Haaland is a player in demand, the Dortmund star linked with Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Liverpool, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain.

Despite the ongoing rumours, Haaland has stayed focus for Dortmund with 13 goals in 10 Bundesliga appearances this season, while the 21-year-old has 19 across all competitions.

Rose hailed Haaland ahead of Saturday's Bundesliga trip to Hertha Berlin.

 

"With all the things that are coming at Erling [Haaland], the speculation, and not just since day one, week one, or since they started talking about an exit clause in his contract," Rose told reporters.

"Actually almost every day he is confronted with some outrageous speculation, and the way Erling handles it as a young player is extraordinary, I think. All of us who work with him are used to it by now.

"There will be more and less of it and at some point someone will have an idea or someone will think they have to stir up a hornet's nest to make a fuss. We are prepared for that and we know what the facts are.

"We meet every day, we talk to each other, we exchange ideas. It shouldn't affect us too much now. If someone thinks that they have to force things from the outside, that they have to interpret certain things, then we're not really interested."

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

Rose picked up 34 points from his first 16 Bundesliga games as coach of Dortmund. Among all BVB coaches, only Lucien Favre (39) and Thomas Tuchel (38) surpassed this.

Barcelona head coach Xavi has claimed it is "strange" that some of his players "do not understand" the style of play he is attempting to impose.

Appointed to arrest the team's decline under predecessor Ronald Koeman, the former midfield star has struggled to reverse the problems at Camp Nou in terms of performances and results.

Barca have won just two of six games since Xavi's return to the club, while a goalless draw with Benfica and a 3-0 loss to Bayern Munich saw them fail to progress to the Champions League last 16 for the first time in 20 years.

Ahead of Saturday's game with Elche, the Catalans are eighth in LaLiga, 18 points behind leaders Real Madrid and five adrift of the top four.

Xavi has suggested part of the problem lies in his players' inability to grasp 'juego de posicion', a structured approach to play with and without the ball in which the former Spain international thrived.

However, he is refusing to give up on Barca's ambitions this season, telling reporters: "I have a lot of faith in my players, although the results are not following. We have to believe in the process.

"We're Barca and we have to compete against any opponent, regardless of injuries. We can't make excuses.

"The objective is to be in the top four and to win trophies, although the gap to the leaders is very big. We don't rule anything out.

"We need to understand the way we want to play football. It's strange there are Barca players who don't understand juego de posicion.

"This is about winning, and we're eighth in the table. We have to be positive and brave: press high, press after losing the ball, attack spaces... this is what we want."

 

Barca's well-documented financial problems leave them in a precarious position when it comes to bolstering the squad in the transfer window.

Indeed, amid reports president Joan Laporta had met with agent Mino Raiola to discuss the prospect of signing Erling Haaland next year, LaLiga boss Javier Tebas expressed his doubt that Barca would be able to afford the Borussia Dortmund star.

However, Xavi insisted Tebas would be as happy as anyone to see a talent of Haaland's pedigree move to Spain's top flight.

"In these moments we have a difficult economic situation, and you have to think that it's not going to be easy. We have a salary cap," Xavi said.

"In terms of names, we haven't spoken of that possibility. It would interest [Tebas] for players like Haaland to be here for the good of the league."

It has been suggested Barca could look to offload Ousmane Dembele to fund January arrivals, but Xavi appeared keen to keep the winger, whose contract expires at the end of the season.

"I spoke with him yesterday. I'm positive. He wants to continue. I can't say more; it's a matter of reaching an agreement.

"He already knows the importance he'll have if he stays with us. He looks good, he's playing more and more. He's a footballer capable of making a difference."

The race for Borussia Dortmund forward Erling Haaland is on.

Haaland is reportedly being chased by several top clubs, including Real Madrid, Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Barcelona.

Each club will be looking for an edge in the race for the Norwegian.


TOP STORY – BARCELONA NOT KEEN ON POGBA-HAALAND PACKAGE

Barcelona are unlikely to bring in both Haaland and Paul Pogba, reports SPORT.

Agent Mino Raiola, who represents both players, is reported to have recently met with Barca president Joan Laporta.

Young striker Haaland is unmistakably an appealing player to Barcelona, but they would need to find the funds to buy him from Borussia Dortmund. Barcelona, who have major financial issues, are said to be wary of taking on Manchester United star Pogba's wages, and he may not be an ideal technical fit for coach Xavi. Pogba's United contract is due to expire at the end of this season.

Manchester City are also readying themselves to chase Haaland but will not over-spend, reports the Manchester Evening News.

ROUND-UP

- Cashed-up Newcastle United are bullish about their prospects of signing Atletico Madrid's England defender Kieran Trippier in January, according to Football Insider. Talks between the Magpies and Trippier are reportedly already under way.

- Premier League trio Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United could be all set to make a move to sign Fiorentina's Dusan Vlahovic after he rejected a bumper extension offer, reports Talksport.

- Paris Saint-Germain have joined the queue of clubs hoping to sign out-of-favour Juventus midfielder Arthur Melo, reports Calciomercato. Arthur has also been linked with Lazio.

- Fenerbahce are set to swoop for Luuk de Jong, who is on loan at Barcelona from Sevilla, claims Mundo Deportivo. Barca are eager to let him leave from his loan.

- Barcelona have set an asking price of €90million (£77m) for Frenkie de Jong according to Fichajes, amid interest from Bayern Munich and Liverpool.

Could Bayern Munich really part with Robert Lewandowski?

The 33-year-old talisman has broken all kinds of records in Munich, but he is not getting any younger.

With Erling Haaland the face of a new era, Bayern may be tempted for the Borussia Dortmund star to lead the way.

 

TOP STORY – LEWANDOWSKI OUT, HAALAND IN?

Bayern Munich could sell Robert Lewandowski to raise funds for in-demand Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland, according to Sport Bild.

Bundesliga champions Bayern are planning with Lewandowski for the future, though they have reportedly not written off the idea of bringing in Haaland, who has been linked with Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester United.

Should Bayern and Lewandowski not agree to a new deal, the Poland international is believed to be interested in a switch to the Premier League or PSG.

As for Bayern, they feel cashing in on Lewandowski for around €60million would help in landing Haaland, who has a release clause of €75m.

Bayern are also eyeing Barca's Ousmane Dembele, while Inter's Lautaro Martinez, Fiorentina forward Dusan Vlahovic and Juventus star Federico Chiesa are among their alternative options.

 

ROUND-UP

- Eurosport claims LaLiga champions Atletico Madrid want to bring in wantaway United forward Anthony Martial in a swap deal.

Barca and Atletico are interested in Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta, says Sport. Azpilicueta is a free agent at the end of the season. Chelsea team-mate Antonio Rudiger is also set to become available on a free transfer.

- Calciomercato reports PSG are eyeing a move for Bayern forward Kingsley Coman. The 25-year-old Frenchman made three appearances for PSG before leaving the capital in 2014.

- Salzburg sensation Karim Adeyemi is wanted by Barca, Inter and Liverpool but the Germany international wants a move to Dortmund, according to Fabrizio Romano.

Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain each have four nominees in the 23-man shortlist for the FIFA FIFPRO Men's World 11 for 2021.

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson and full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold are also included, although there is no place for Mohamed Salah.

PSG's attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe are among the forwards, as is Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo.

Veteran Dani Alves also won enough votes to make the list, even though the 38-year-old, who recently rejoined Barcelona, only played 16 times in domestic competition in Brazil this year.

Professional footballers across the world were asked to vote for the three players they considered to have the best seasons during the 2020-21 season among goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and forwards.

FIFPRO said: "For the first time in 17 years, FIFPRO is updating the announcement about the most-voted players, reducing the shortlist from 55 to 23. This has been done to resemble a real-life 'squad' which, usually for international competitions, is the number of players involved. 

"The three goalkeepers, six defenders, six midfielders and six forwards with the most votes earned a place in the 23-men World 11 'squad'. To complete this elite selection, the two remaining outfield players with the most votes were added."

The keeper, three defenders, three midfielders and three forwards with the most votes will be chosen for the World 11, with the remaining spot assigned to the outfield player with the next highest number of votes.

The final 11 will be announced at The Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony on January 17.

 

FIFA FIFPRO MEN'S WORLD 11 23-PLAYER SHORTLIST:

Goalkeepers:
Alisson (Liverpool, Brazil)
Gianluigi Donnarumma (Milan/Paris Saint-Germain, Italy)
Edouard Mendy (Chelsea, Senegal)

Defenders:
David Alaba (Bayern Munich/Real Madrid, Austria)
Jordi Alba (Barcelona, Spain)
Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool, England)
Dani Alves (Sao Paulo/Barcelona, Brazil)
Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus, Italy)
Ruben Dias (Manchester City, Portugal)

Midfielders:
Sergio Busquets (Barcelona, Spain)
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City, Belgium)
Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United, Portugal)
Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona, The Netherlands)
Jorginho (Chelsea, Italy)
N'Golo Kante (Chelsea, France)

Forwards:
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid, France)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus/Manchester United, Portugal)
Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund, Norway)
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich, Poland)
Romelu Lukaku (Inter/Chelsea, Belgium)
Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain, France)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona/Paris Saint-Germain, Argentina)
Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain, Brazil)

Bayern Munich are not interested in Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland and "will think twice" about signing Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele, according to Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

German champions Bayern were this week named as one of four clubs realistically capable of signing Haaland by the player's agent Mino Raiola, along with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester City.

Raiola clarified those comments by insisting Haaland is not yet thinking about leaving Dortmund, but the Norway international – reported to have a €75million buy-out clause that will kick in at the end of the season – continues to be linked with a move away.

However, with Robert Lewandowski in fantastic form and under contract until the end of the 2022-23 season, Rummenigge does not believe Bayern will attempt to poach Haaland from Bundesliga rivals Dortmund next year.

"FC Bayern will not try to get Haaland," the former Bayern chairman told Bild TV. "Not just for financial reasons, but also out of respect and appreciation for Robert Lewandowski, who's the best number nine in the world."

Since Haaland's debut for Dortmund on January 18 last year, Lewandowski (100) is the only player in Europe's top five leagues to have scored more goals than the former Salzburg striker (74) across all competitions.

 

Haaland is not the only big-name player to have been touted as a possible target for Bayern, with Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele also said to be on the Bundesliga leaders' radar heading into 2022.

Dembele will become a free agent at the end of the season and is free to sign a pre-contract agreement with a new club from January, but Rummenigge cannot see a place for the France international in a star-studded Bayern side.

"I was a big fan when he played for Dortmund. He was a great player," Rummenigge said.

"Since then he's not been the same. Bayern have [Kingsley] Coman, [Leroy] Sane, [Serge] Gnabry and [Jamal] Musiala, all of whom are at a higher level at the moment.

"Although Dembele will be a free agent, there will be a big signing-on fee involved. For financial reasons, I think FC Bayern will think twice about it."

Dembele's time at Barcelona has been blighted by fitness issues, but he remains a key player for the Catalan giants when available.

He has managed 30 goals and 20 assists in 123 appearances in all competitions since joining from Dortmund in August 2017 and has been directly involved in 0.65 goals per 90 minutes.

For context, that puts Dembele on a par with Bayern forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and ahead of Coman (0.63) over that period, but behind Musiala (0.73), Gnabry (0.78) and Sane (0.9).

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.

Barcelona are in disarray – out of Champions League and out of money.

Funds are limited at Camp Nou and it is forcing the embattled LaLiga giants to make some tough decisions.

Frenkie de Jong and Marc-Andre ter Stegen could be sold.

 

TOP STORY – DE JONG AND TER STEGEN TO LEAVE CAMP NOU?

Barcelona are willing to sell Frenkie de Jong and Marc-Andre ter Stegen due to the club's finances, according to Diario AS.

Eliminated from the Champions League at the group stage, Barca are in the midst of a financial crisis, having been forced to part with superstar captain Lionel Messi at the start of the season.

Barca head coach Xavi faces a rebuilding job but needs to raise funds, and star midfielder De Jong and goalkeeper Ter Stegen could be sacrificed.

De Jong has been linked with Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and Bayern Munich, who have also eyed Ter Stegen.

 

ROUND-UP

- Football Insider says Real Madrid are weighing up a move for former superstar Cristiano Ronaldo if he does not fit into the system of United interim manager Ralf Rangnick.

- ESPN claims Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham, RB Leipzig midfielder Amadou Haidara and Kalvin Phillips of Leeds United are key targets for Manchester United. Erling Haaland is also a long-term target of United.

Chelsea are eyeing Leicester City's Wesley Fofana as a replacement for soon-to-be free agent Antonio Rudiger, per Goal. Rudiger has been linked with Real Madrid and Bayern on a free transfer. Preparing for life after Rudiger, Chelsea have also been linked to Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde.

Paris Saint-Germain are looking to move on Mauro Icardi, Rafinha and Abdou Diallo, says L'Equipe. Icardi has been linked with Juventus, Milan, Newcastle United and Tottenham.

Erling Haaland and Mino Raiola have been thinking about the striker's future for two years and have a clear idea of his next move, the agent says.

Haaland joined Borussia Dortmund from Salzburg after the Bundesliga side met his €20million release clause in December 2019.

He has since raced to 51 goals in as many German top-flight appearances, averaging a goal a game to reach his half-century – Haaland the quickest to the milestone in Bundesliga history and the youngest to do so at just 21.

Indeed, among players in Europe's top five leagues, only Robert Lewandowski (100) has scored more goals than Haaland (74) across all competitions since his Dortmund debut on January 18, 2020.

Speculation around a move away from BVB persists, with Haaland's contract reportedly containing a €75m release clause, although club chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has described those claims as "rumour" and would not confirm the clause.

With a host of Europe's biggest clubs rumoured to be interested, Raiola – who represents the 21-year-old – believes he and Haaland hold all the keys in the upcoming transfer windows.

"We have been thinking about his future for two years," Raiola told SPORT1. "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."

Dortmund, who next travel to Bochum on Saturday, sit four points behind Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich after Julian Nagelsmann's side secured a 3-2 victory in last weekend's Klassiker.

Haaland scored in that game and has four goals in three appearances since returning from a hip injury.

Is a Leeds United midfielder ready to reject a switch to Old Trafford?

Typically, Manchester United are too big to turn down but Kalvin Phillips is believed to be willing to withstand their interest due to the rivalry between the two clubs.

The beneficiaries of such a decision? Liverpool apparently.

 

TOP STORY – PHILLIPS TO TURN DOWN MAN UTD

Leeds United star Kalvin Phillips will snub a move to Manchester United in favour of Premier League rivals Liverpool, according to The Sun.

Phillips has emerged as a target for Leeds' bitter rivals United, while Liverpool are also admirers of the England international.

Wary of the backlash a move to Old Trafford would cause among Leeds fans, Phillips is ready to reject United and join Liverpool.

 

ROUND-UP

Arsenal are plotting a move for Everton star Richarlison, claims Fichajes. The Brazil international scored against Arsenal on Monday, while he has been linked with Paris Saint-Germain.

- Fabrizio Romano reports Borussia Dortmund have made direct contact with Salzburg star Karim Adeyemi. The Germany international is Dortmund's main target as clubs queue up to sign Erling Haaland, who is wanted by Manchester United, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool, Chelsea, PSG, Juventus and Bayern Munich.

- Tuttomercato says Franck Kessie could leave Milan on a free transfer. The soon-to-be free agent has been linked with Tottenham, Inter, PSG and United.

Fiorentina are poised to sign Lille star Jonathan Ikone, per Gianluca Di Marzio. The deal is reportedly not related to the future of wantaway forward Dusan Vlahovic – the Serbia international has been linked with City, United, Bayern, Inter, Juve, Tottenham and Arsenal.

Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick outlined the differences between "massive talent" Mason Greenwood and Erling Haaland after the Red Devils star scored a stunning Champions League goal.

Greenwood opened the scoring with a spectacular finish before Fabian Rieder equalised for Young Boys prior to half-time in Wednesday's 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.

Already assured of a last-16 berth, Rangnick made 11 changes to the United team that started the 1-0 Premier League win over Crystal Palace, and Greenwood stood out in the final Group F fixture.

Greenwood scored his eighth goal in major European competition (excluding qualifiers) for United – the most of any player for the club before their 21st birthday, overtaking team-mate Marcus Rashford.

Rangnick praised the 20-year-old post-match, telling reporters: "I think, again, today, he also showed – not only because of that beautiful goal – but also the way he set up the opportunity for Juan Mata it was brilliant.

"He is a massive talent. Left foot, right foot, good on the ball. Also, the way that he set up the goal for Fred on Sunday [against Crystal Palace]. But, still, it's about continuity. He still needs to develop physically. But technically, for his age, he's a great player.

"My job is to develop him, to make an athlete out of him. If he manages to do that, he can become a regular player for this club."

Rangnick was then asked about comparisons between Green and Borussia Dortmund sensation Haaland, who has been linked with a move to United.

"I don't think that we should compare those two players," Rangnick, who worked with Haaland at Salzburg, said. "They are different kind of strikers and players.

"Erling Haaland is extremely physical. He's, I don't know, 1.93 or 1.94cm. A different kind of striker. Erling, for me, is a target striker. He can play as a single striker, like a target-man, or with another striker in a 4--4-2. 

"I think Mason is more of a nine-and-a-half. He can play as a striker, he can also come from the wing, he can play together with another striker. And he is very technical - left foot, right foot. As I said, sometimes he looks a little bit not on an athletic level. And, I think, we have to develop him there physically. But, technically, all the things that he can do with the ball are outstanding. So I am not so much worried about his technical level.

"We need to develop him physically and mentally to become the strongest version of himself. If we manage to do that, he can become a regular player and a very valuable player for our club for the future."

Erling Haaland is the name on everyone's lips.

His exploits for Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund have sparked a frenzy among Europe's elite.

With Haaland attracting interest, Dortmund are making moves to replace the Norway international.

 

TOP STORY – ADEYEMI TO SUCCEED HAALAND?

Borussia Dortmund are working on a deal to sign Salzburg's Karim Adeyemi as a replacement for in-demand star Erling Haaland, according to Fabrizio Romano's Here We Go podcast.

Haaland is wanted all over Europe amid links with Manchester United, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Liverpool and Juventus.

As speculation mounts over Haaland, Dortmund are reportedly preparing for his departure with a move for Salzburg sensation and Germany international Adeyemi.

Barca, Bayern and Liverpool are reportedly interested in Adeyemi.

 

ROUND-UP

- Liverpool lead the chase to sign Dortmund star Jude Bellingham, says The Mirror. As Europe's elite eye Haaland, Liverpool are looking to pounce on Bellingham who has been linked with Chelsea and United.

- Todofichajes reports head coach Mauricio Pochettino has lost the faith of the Paris Saint-Germain dressing room. Pochettino has emerged as United's rumoured top target to lead the Red Devils long term, with Zinedine Zidane tipped to replace him in Paris.

Bayern have joined the race to sign Borussia Monchengladbach's Denis Zakaria, per Romano. Zakaria has been linked with Roma, Liverpool, City, Juve and Barca.

Milan and Barca are eyeing Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen, per Romano. The Denmark international has been in contract talks at Stamford Bridge.

Sebastien Haller broke a Champions League record held by Erling Haaland when he gave Ajax the lead against Sporting CP on Tuesday, matching another feat previously only ever achieved by Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Ivory Coast international, who joined in January from West Ham, had difficulty in coming about goals during an 18-month Premier League stint.

His Champions League form has been stellar, though, and the penalty he converted against Sporting was his 10th goal of this season's group stage.

It made him the quickest player to reach double figures in a Champions League career, doing so in just six games. Norwegian star Haaland previously held that record, having got there in seven appearances.

Haller also became the first player to score in each of his opening six games in the competition.

Cristiano Ronaldo was already a Champions League veteran when he scored in all six of Real Madrid's 2017-18 group games. That made Ronaldo the first player to have netted in all of his team's matches at that stage of the competition in a single season.

Haller has now become the second man to achieve that feat, with the 27-year-old's eighth-minute spot-kick coming after he was fouled by Daniel Braganca.

It gave Ajax a 1-0 lead, but they were soon pegged back to 1-1 as Nuno Santos replied in the 22nd minute for Sporting. Antony restored Ajax's lead before half-time.

Ajax were already assured of winning Group C coming into the final game of the opening stage, with Sporting assured of finishing as runners-up.

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