Real Madrid v Liverpool: Zidane quizzed about Salah
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Real Madrid are feigning transfer interest in Erling Haaland to drive up the price for Barcelona, according to reports. The Borussia Dortmund star has been in sensational form this season. But a move to the Bernabeu doesn’t appear to be on the cards.
Real Madrid recently held talks with Mino Raiola regarding a potential deal for Haaland.
Yet Eurosport claim Los Blancos aren’t keen on the Borussia Dortmund star, because of who his agent is.
Real have reportedly grown tired of negotiating with Raiola having missed out on clients such as Paul Pogba and Gianluigi Donnarumma over the years.
And they’re only faking interest in Haaland to drive up the price for Barcelona, who are genuinely interested in snapping him up.
Haaland has scored 31 goals in the Bundesliga and Champions League combined this term.
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And Barcelona see the Norway international as the perfect replacement for Luis Suarez, who was sold to Real Madrid last year.
Real representative Jose Angel Sanchez and head of scouting Juni Calafat were dispatched for talks with Raiola during his time in the capital.
But their preference would be to sign Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe, who has sparkled at the Parc des Princes ever since his arrival four years ago.
Zidane and Real president Florentino Perez supposedly think that, by focusing on Haaland, they risk wasting precious time.
And Barcelona, for their part, are hopeful winning the race for Haaland will persuade Lionel Messi to stay at the Nou Camp.
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Meanwhile, speaking recently, Raiola claimed that the Dortmund striker was ahead of his own development.
“Haaland is in front of his own development,” he said.
“He is ahead of his own schedule. Maybe I was too careful when I said, ‘Oh no, let’s move to Dortmund instead of I-don’t-know-where’.
“This boy – I’m 100 per cent convinced and everybody’s convinced – can move to any club, wherever he wants, already on this level. He could have done that last year.”
Raiola has previously claimed only 10 clubs on the planet have the financial might to land his client.
“It is obvious that everybody is looking at Erling as one of those potential new future stars because it’s so difficult to do what he does at his age at his level,” he said.
“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’.
“It’s like saying: ‘Is there a Formula 1 team who would not be interested in having Lewis Hamilton?'”
Haaland isn’t Barcelona’s only transfer target.
They want Dutch duo Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum, who look poised to leave Lyon and Liverpool behind.
And they’re confident of landing Manchester City defender Eric Garcia, whose contract at the Etihad is also winding down.
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