Erling Haaland’s lap of honour after Borussia Dortmund’s win over Furth “looked strange” sporting director Michael Zorc has admitted, while CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has confirmed Real Madrid are interested in signing the forward.
Haaland scored a brace in Dortmund’s 3-1 home victory against Furth last week, taking his tally of goals for the 2021-22 Bundesliga season to 13.
The Norwegian’s outstanding performance was overshadowed by his interactions with the home crowd after the final whistle, but Zorc has attempted to downplay the incident.
What has been said?
Haaland appeared to wave goodbye to the supporters inside Westfalenstadion as he walked round the pitch, fuelling transfer rumours ahead of the January window in the process.
Zorc concedes that the 21-year-old’s actions looked bizarre, but does not believe that he was trying to put across any kind of message.
Speaking after Dortmund’s 3-2 loss at Hertha on Saturday, the club chief told Sky Germany: “I saw the pictures afterwards too. It looked a bit strange, but I don’t think it was a deliberate action. I spoke to him again briefly, and that’s not an issue in the team either.
“What is this? I asked him. Nothing at all, he said. That settles the matter.”
Meanwhile, Watzke has revealed Madrid are eager to lure Haaland to Santiago Bernabeu.
He believes La Liga would be the ideal next destination for the forward if he leaves, but hasn’t completely given up hope of retaining his services after talks with agent Mino Raiola.
“All I know is that Real Madrid are very interested in him,” Watzke told BILD. “I could name 25 others now, but with Real I know for sure.
“I think he would fit in better in Spain. A different kind of football is played in England. I am not so sceptical that he will stay with us.
“Me and Raiola had a good talk not so long ago. When we arrive at the end of negotiations, the conversations are always quite friendly. That phone call was quite friendly.
“We will certainly have another conversation in the next few weeks. If Haaland stays with us, there may be more euros for him.”
Will Haaland leave Dortmund in 2022?
Haaland is still under contract at Dortmund until 2024, but it has been reported he has a €75 million (£64m/$84m) release clause set to become active next summer.
Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain have also been linked with the 21-year-old, but Zorc insists Dortmund won’t be pressured into selling.
“To be honest: I don’t know,” he said when asked if Haaland will still be a Dortmund player in 2022-23.
“Of course, we would like him to stay in Dortmund over the summer. We don’t have to give him up, not even for economic reasons.
“You know that under certain conditions he has the opportunity to change. We will certainly hold talks with him in the next few weeks in order to have more planning security.”