How Dortmund’s pressure may help Real Madrid sign Erling Haaland

Real Madrid transfer target Erling Haaland of Borussia Dortmund (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)
Real Madrid transfer target Erling Haaland of Borussia Dortmund (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images) /

Real Madrid have eyes on both Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland, and while some outlets have tried to say that Haaland is not as big of a priority, the reality is that Mbappe and Haaland are 1a and 1b to Real, respectively. If Florentino Perez wants Mbappe more, it is only because there is just about no competition for the PSG star. Because above all else, the ambitious president wants both Galacticos at the Bernabeu in 2022.

Haaland is, by all accounts, between Manchester City and Real Madrid. Both are valid candidates to sign the Borussia Dortmund star, and there are compelling reasons for Haaland to pick both. But to this point, most of the talk has been about how Real are the ones with the edge for Haaland. They are his dream club.

Now, Haaland’s big decision is on the horizon. Many of us were under the impression he would get time to focus on football and wait until the spring to choose, but the striker has told Jan Aage Fjortoft, via Fabrizio Romano, that his current club have put him under pressure.

Based on a statement from Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke, the club cannot wait any longer on Haaland. They want to plan their own future, presumably around another RB Salzburg striker, Karim Adeyemi, as a replacement.

Erling Haaland would have less time to overthink

Marco Ruiz of AS says that decisive moments in the race to sign Erling Haaland are coming. But he also says that Real Madrid, as of right now, are the favorites for the Norwegian superstar.

The rumblings of an ultimatum from Dortmund to Haaland appear to be true. And this pressure could prove to be beneficial to Los Blancos.

Why? If Haaland has dreamed of Madrid, him having less time to overthink and go back and forth means that his decision may be more in line with his heart. He has probably already decided, in his heart, where he wants to go. Haaland knows what he values most. It is time for him to not delay and to make his decision known, now that he clearly has the blessing of Dortmund to go ahead. They do not feel it is a distraction to their own goals in the 2021-22 season.

Manchester City have a connection with his father. They have money. They have Pep Guardiola. And they have built a period of incredible dominance in the Premier League with ambitions for a Champions League trophy that just barely eluded them.

Haaland enjoyed playing with other great attackers at Dortmund

Real Madrid, though, are the kings of Europe for a reason. They have won more Champions Leagues than anyone and have produced the biggest superstars known to this sport. At Real, a player can become larger-than-life and embraced by the biggest fanbase in the world. Cristiano Ronaldo was a footballing inspiration for Haaland, and it sounds like he wants to follow in the Portuguese legend’s footsteps at the Bernabeu.

Watzke and Dortmund have a great relationship with Perez and Real. They know that Haaland’s career would be in safe hands at the Bernabeu, where his image and quality would be both protected and improved. Maybe they are even slightly nudging him in that direction behind the scenes, assuaging him about sharing the spotlight.

After all, Haaland seemed to relish playing with Jadon Sancho last season. And he clearly has love for Jude Bellingham, Marco Reus, Mahmoud Dahoud, Gio Reyna (he calls him the “American Dream”), and the other veteran stars and youngsters in Dortmund. He has enjoyed his football with them. As we can see in his time at Dortmund, he is happiest when the team is winning and scoring goals as a collective, from which he benefits. But he is most frustrated when the team is not playing free-flowing attacking football and not winning.

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Real Madrid have a legacy of attacking football, goal-scoring, and trophies. They are the club players like Haaland have dreamed of, especially if they followed the three-peat era as teenagers. Dortmund giving Haaland both a deadline and an opportunity to get his decision off his chest could lead to Real getting one of their top two dream targets. Because when Haaland put in the release clause upon joining Dortmund, I have a feeling he did so with Real in mind so that they could afford him over the richer clubs like Chelsea, City, and PSG.