Borussia Dortmund CEO Michael Zorc has joked that Erling Haaland is ‘already in England’ after the 20-year-old missed his side’s pre-season fitness camp on Monday. Haaland has been heavily linked with a big-money move away from the Bundesliga this summer, with Manchester United and Chelsea among the clubs to have been mentioned in connection with his services.
The Norway international has established himself as one of the world’s best young players since joining Dortmund in January of last year.
He chipped in with 41 goals in as many appearances in all competitions last season, earning links to a number of the world’s biggest clubs in the process.
Haaland remains under contract with his current employers until the summer of 2024, but the likes of United, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barcelona have all been credited with an interest in his signature.
He was not present with his team-mates for Dortmund’s training camp on Monday, but Zorc quickly moved to make light of the situation by claiming that the forward has jetted off to England to negotiate a move to the Premier League.
When Sky Sport Germany asked for an explanation on Haaland’s whereabouts, Zorc smiled and replied: “He’s already in England!”
Dortmund’s position on Haaland’s future remains firm, with the Bundesliga heavyweights determined to keep hold of their star man for at least another season, according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano.
The club have already seen Jadon Sancho join United in a £77million move earlier this month and will be looking to retain their best players as they prepare to challenge Bayern Munich for next season’s Bundesliga title.
United have been linked with Haaland for some time and reportedly attempted to bring him to Old Trafford before his move to Red Bull Salzburg in 2019.
However, Edinson Cavani’s decision to pen a one-year extension with the Red Devils has addressed their need for a top-class striker ahead of the new campaign, suggesting that an expensive move for another marksman could be snubbed this summer.
Meanwhile, Chelsea are reportedly eyeing the addition of a new forward and are believed to harbour a strong interest in landing the Dortmund man.
Recent reports have claimed that a significant offer could be tabled by the Blues over the coming weeks and months.
Haaland’s agent, Mino Raiola, recently declared that only four Premier League clubs would be able to finance a move for his client.
“It is obvious that everybody is looking at Erling as one of those potential new future stars,” Raiola told the BBC.”Because it’s so difficult to do what he does at his age at his level.
“He will be one of the future stars of the next decade because we see that stars such as Ibrahimovic, Ronaldo and Messi are coming to an age where everyone asks themselves: ‘How long can we still enjoy them?’. So everyone is looking for the new generation.
“Only a maximum of 10 clubs can afford to buy Haaland and give the platform you would like after you’ve been in Dortmund, and four of those clubs are in England.
“I don’t think there’s a sports director or trainer in the world who would say ‘not interested’.”