Real Madrid have a good reason to be pessimistic about Erling Haaland signing

Dortmund, Erling Haaland (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)
Dortmund, Erling Haaland (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images) /

To this point, most of the reports regarding Erling Haaland to Real Madrid have been positive. Even when we hearing rumblings about Manchester City, there is an acknowledgment from the Premier League giants that Haaland himself prefers Real as his dream club.

But this optimism, while encouraging on some level, represents only half the story. For as much as the discussions have focused on Haaland and Kylian Mbappe on the pitch, the reality is that the details off the pitch could swing this deal.

In a thorough report for Libertad Digital, the reliable Sergio Valentin details Real Madrid’s call with Erling Haaland’s agent Mino Raiola and all the uncertainties involved with the Haaland sweepstakes.

And the crux of the issue comes down to money.

Valentin reports that Real Madrid actually believe that there is an 80 percent chance Manchester City sign Haaland. The other team mentioned in rumors, Barcelona, do not even register in Los Blancos’ eyes as a threat. Presumably because of their salary cap situation and the financial demands of signing Haaland, though, of course, Madridistas won’t assume Joan Laporta is out until it’s official.

Real Madrid would not pay Erling Haaland more than Kylian Mbappe

As for City, Real’s stance that Pep Guardiola and Co. stand such a good chance of signing Haaland naturally focuses on money. Per Valentin, Real Madrid know that City will offer Haaland more money. They can, and they will. And secondary to that, Haaland would not be Real’s top earner. They have to hammer out a contract for free agent Kylian Mbappe, and Mbappe, who is the true crown jewel from Madrid’s perspective, would get the heftier financial package.

We are under the impression that Haaland is not solely focused on money, but when City offer just as compelling of a sporting project and a personally meaningful destination for the Norwegian, then the increased sum of money is more than just a sweetener.

Valentin even mentions what has been rumbled in the Spanish press to start 2022 – that Erling Haaland is not actually a priority for Real Madrid. The priority appears to not only be Mbappe in clear first, but also to assemble a competent squad around the gems of Mbappe and Vinicius Jr. Hence why Real are being linked with defensive-minded players like Aurelien Tchouameni and fullbacks.

Next. 3 Real Madrid players with a limitless ceiling. dark

City and Madrid appear to be 50/50 for Haaland at this early juncture. Real have the allure, City have the money. In football, money talks. Sentiment only matters for a veteran attached to a club or a city. Haaland does not have that with Madrid, though he may be drawn to the Bernabeu in some way. And that draw is not enough to override the pessimism that the gulf in funding between the state-sponsored Manchester club and Madrid creates. After all, Raiola’s influence in this deal and own financial goals cannot be discounted.

That said, the transfer battle is not over. Real Madrid are very much still in the race to sign Haaland. Just don’t get your hopes up too soon or fall for anyone saying Madrid are the clear favorites. If they are slight favorites, it is only in sentiment, not in business.