Raiola held talks with Dortmund’s sporting director Michael Zorc earlier this week to discuss Haaland’s future and flew to Barcelona on Thursday morning before travelling on to Madrid. He and Haaland’s father then flew back to Nice.
Speaking to all the clubs who would be interested in signing Haaland is the way that Raiola operates and he adopted a similar ‘beauty parade’ approach when the striker left Red Bull Salzburg for Dortmund in January 2020. Extensive talks were held with other clubs led by Manchester United before Haaland eventually chose Dortmund.
Chelsea are closely monitoring the situation and are also likely to speak to Haaland’s representatives at some stage. Sources suggest that Madrid are the favourites at present although all discussions are at an early stage and no decision has been reached.
It is understood that Zorc explained to Raiola that the Bundesliga club had no intention of selling the forward this summer – their priority would appear to remain finalising a move for Jadon Sancho – and he later told Sky Germany: “I spoke to Mino Raiola. We’ve made our intentions very clear.”
However that would appear to be a negotiating position and would be tested by a substantial offer especially if Haaland, who was signed after his £20million release clause was triggered, makes it clear he wants to go. Zorc has also previously acknowledged it would be extremely difficult to keep hold of the 20-year-old should they fail to qualify for the Champions League.
Dortmund, who face City in Manchester next Tuesday in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final, are currently fifth in the German league, four points adrift of fourth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt.
After news of the meetings in Spain broke, Zorc said: “I don’t have anything against (Raiola and Haaland Snr) taking in the sun on the Mediterranean. We’ve talked and our stance is quite clear. I am very, very relaxed in that matter because I know what we want.”
Dortmund were aware that the meetings were going to take place and that talks with other clubs are planned.
It may be that by flying to Spain Raiola and Haaland’s father are attempting to put further pressure on Dortmund. They arrived by private jet at El Prat airport and were escorted by Barcelona representatives to meet with the club’s newly-elected president Joan Laporta and incoming director of football, Mateu Alemany.
After the meeting the pair then flew on to Madrid and held talks with Real’s chief executive Jose Angel Sanchez before returning to France at around 5pm. Such a public show with two of the biggest clubs in European football will strengthen Raiola’s hand when it comes to negotiating with Dortmund over his client’s future.
Raiola has made no secret of the fact that he runs a “process” when it comes to transfer deals and neither does it do Real or Barcelona – with Laporta re-elected president only last month – any damage to be seen to show ambition and be interested in such an exciting player. Barcelona’s financial position, in particular, would make the deal difficult although they would be desperate for Haaland not to join Real.
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