The Liga giants and other European clubs remain keen on luring the Norwegian striker away from German football, but financing the move is tricky
Barcelona and Real Madrid remain keen on Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland, as do several major clubs around Europe, but Goal has learned that the Norwegian’s €35 million-a-year (£30m/$42m) salary demands are in danger of pricing even football’s giants out of a deal.
Interest from leading clubs across Europe in the prolific 20-year-old frontman is no secret, with his exploits in Germany keeping his stock high.
Mino Raiola, the players’ agent, has also been keeping the rumour mill ticking over with his visits – accompanied by Haaland’s father Alf Inge – to Barca and Madrid.
Discussions have been held with Jose Angel Sanchez, Real’s general director, and with Joan Laporta, the re-elected president at Camp Nou.
Sources close to Goal have revealed that those meetings had been arranged for some time, with Haaland senior eager to check out the training facilities in Madrid.
Raiola positioned himself within those talks and also arranged the stopover in Catalunya that allowed talks with two global superpowers to be held on the same day.
The Haaland camp were fully aware of the furore that their actions would cause, with local media on hand to capture photographs of the entourage taking in their transfer tour of Europe.
Goal has been told that conversations with Real and Barca were informal, with the finances required to put an agreement in place not discussed at this stage.
An imminent approach from either camp was not discussed either, with no plans for big-money packages to be pieced together in the next recruitment window.
A potential sticking point for Barca, Real or any other club could be the wage that Haaland is looking to earn from his next move.
Goal has learned that an English club made an approach for Haaland a few months ago and ended up walking away from talks after being made aware of the astronomical €35m demands.
Interest from that side has now cooled, while Barca and Real know that they cannot afford such a deal either.
Barca acknowledge that such terms are impossible for them to fund as they complete a thorough audit at Camp Nou, while Florentino Perez is unwilling to break the bank for Haaland despite seeing him fit the ‘Galactico’ mould at Santiago Bernabeu.
With all of that taken into account, the demands of Raiola and his high-profile client would need to be lowered considerably in order for a switch to Spain to be considered – especially as a sizeable transfer fee would also need to be added into the mix.
View from Germany
As speculation rages around them, those at Dortmund are staying calm.
They have no intention of parting with Haaland and are under no pressure to sell even if the club fails to secure qualification for next season’s Champions League.
Leading officials such as Hans-Joachim Watzke and Michael Zorc have been in regular contact with Haaland and his father, and would make it virtually impossible for suitors to do a deal if an approach were to be made.
They have a contract in place with a prized asset through to 2024. That agreement includes a €75m (£65m/$90m) exit clause for the summer of 2022, meaning that Dortmund are well insured when it comes to any advances.
They know of the interest from Spain and in England, but would only consider selling if an offer close to the €150m (£130m/$180m) mark were tabled.
Dortmund showed during the Jadon Sancho saga of 2020, when Manchester United made several efforts to land the England international, that they will not bow to pressure and are shrewd negotiators.
The situation in Germany has been made very clear: either their demands are met by rivals with the deepest of pockets, or Haaland remains where he is.