Rumour Has It: PSG want Real Madrid target Haaland, Barcelona consider options

By Sports Desk May 20, 2020

Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly set to rival Real Madrid for Erling Haaland, while Barcelona continue to consider their moves.

Haaland has starred this season and moved to Borussia Dortmund in January, but the forward is already being strongly linked with a move away.

While the Norway international is apparently a key target for Madrid, it seems PSG also like the forward, who scored against them in the last 16 of this season's Champions League.

 

TOP STORY – PSG EYE REAL MADRID TARGET HAALAND

PSG could threaten Madrid's pursuit of Haaland, according to the cover of Marca.

The Ligue 1 giants are looking at the 19-year-old with Kylian Mbappe's contract expiring in 2022 and the futures of Edinson Cavani and Mauro Icardi uncertain.

Haaland has scored 13 goals in 12 games for Dortmund this season, with two of those strikes coming in BVB's 2-1 win over PSG at Signal Iduna Park in the first leg of the Champions League's last 16.

PSG went through in the return leg, with the team – led by Neymar – mocking Haaland's meditation celebration at full-time.

ROUND-UP

- At Barcelona, there is uncertainty over how the club can land Inter star Lautaro Martinez as well as Juventus pair Miralem Pjanic and Mattia De Sciglio. Sport says Barca have seven players they are prepared to sell to get deals done for the trio – Ivan Rakitic, Arturo Vidal, Samuel Umtiti, Junior Firpo, Carles Alena, Rafinha and Nelson Semedo. It also reports Inter are hoping to sign Vidal, but not as part of a deal for Martinez.

- Staying at Camp Nou, and Mundo Deportivo reports Barca considered signing Tottenham star Harry Kane before turning their attentions to Martinez.

- Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz continues to attract plenty of interest. The Sun claims Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea have joined Bayern Munich in the battle for the attacker, while Le 10 Sport says Madrid are also keen on the Germany international.

- Madrid could be busy during the close season. AS understands they are following Lille defender Gabriel as an alternative to RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano.

- With his contract expiring at the end of the campaign, Layvin Kurzawa looks likely to leave PSG. Sport reports Atletico Madrid have joined the list of teams who want the left-back.

- Moussa Diaby has scored four goals and provided five assists for Leverkusen in the Bundesliga this season. Le 10 Sport believes Arsenal and Dortmund have asked about the 20-year-old winger.

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    Erling Haaland emerged as a teenage sensation but has warned the Bundesliga there is an even more prodigious young talent ready to break through at Borussia Dortmund.

    Norwegian striker Haaland turned 20 in July and has already established himself among the top marksmen in German football.

    His 13 goals in 15 Bundesliga games since arriving in mid-season from Salzburg came amid a overall tally of 44 goals in 40 appearances, split between the two clubs.

    It means it will be Haaland to whom Dortmund look for their chief goal threat in the new campaign, but youngster Youssoufa Moukoko could also have a part to play.

    Moukoko is 15 and has been a revelation at youth level, while also training with the Dortmund first team.

    He is with the Dortmund squad this week at their training camp in Bad Ragaz, Switzerland, and will be eligible to play senior football when he turns 16 on November 20.

    Haaland said: "He's a lot better than I was when I was 15. He trains at Borussia Dortmund and keeps up. I was in my home club, Bryne FK, when I was 15. You can't compare that."

    Cameroon-born striker Moukoko has played for Germany at under-16 level and has also appeared for Dortmund in the Under-19 Bundesliga and the UEFA Youth League.

    Haaland, quoted in the Westfalische Rundschau newspaper, suggested he would rather keep pressure off the prodigy.

    "But it's hard when he's that good," Haaland said. "I don't think I've ever seen a 15-year-old that good."

    Dortmund have stated their expectation that Jadon Sancho will stay at the club next season, amid strong interest from Manchester United.

    They are looking to build a side to challenge Bayern Munich, and the emergence of Moukoko in the coming seasons could be important.

    But it is likely to be Haaland and Sancho who hold the key to the team's success next term, should both remain with Dortmund.

    Haaland added: "As a player, I want to win things, of course. If we improve compared to last year, we also have a great chance of holding something in our hands in the end."

  • Goretzka relishing Messi challenge after Ronaldo tests Goretzka relishing Messi challenge after Ronaldo tests

    Bayern Munich midfielder Leon Goretzka is looking forward to the challenge of taking on Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi after going up against Cristiano Ronaldo.

    When he was at Schalke, Goretzka twice faced Ronaldo's Real Madrid, losing 6-1 in February 2014 and winning 4-3 at the Santiago Bernabeu a year later – with both matches part of Champions League last-16 exits for the Bundesliga side.

    The imposing midfielder will get his first chance to take on Messi in a professional match when Bayern play Barca in the Champions League quarter-finals in Lisbon on Friday.

    However, Goretzka knows it will take a team effort to contain Messi, who was pivotal in getting Barca past Napoli in the last-16 second leg last week.

    "After having played Cristiano Ronaldo several times, it's nice to be able to play against another leading footballer of our decade," said Goretzka.

    "The only way it works [stopping Messi] is collectively. Everyone knows just how gifted he is, he is capable of finding many solutions also in tight situations.

    "We will have to fight back as a team. If one player can actually take away his fun in the game, I don't know. We just have to fight back as a team and try to play our game."

    Goretzka left Schalke for Bayern on a free transfer in 2018 despite interest from Barcelona, and he feels resisting the lure of Camp Nou was the correct decision.

    "Back then I deliberately took a long time. I had a few options to stay with Schalke. I listened to everything and made a conscious decision in favour of Bayern. I have never regretted making this decision," he said.

    The suspension of major football during the coronavirus pandemic means the quarter-finals and semi-finals of the Champions League will be played as single games rather than over two legs, with UEFA squeezing in the closing stages of the tournament ahead of the start of the 2020-21 season.

    Goretzka believes Bayer Leverkusen's Europa League exit at the hands of Inter on Monday was a reminder of how that change has altered the dynamics of European competition.

    "This is a knockout game. The right mental mix is always required. Yesterday the Leverkusen game annoyed me because they actually played a good game but were eliminated because of 20 minutes. I had the feeling that they would have progressed over two legs," he said.

    "I think we can beat any opponent. Nevertheless, we know that a very good team is waiting for us with world-class players. But we will play with our chests puffed out, like we have over the past nine months. We are already in a positive mood."

  • Sturgeon issues yellow card as Celtic games called off following Bolingoli breach Sturgeon issues yellow card as Celtic games called off following Bolingoli breach

    Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon warned the entire SPFL season was at risk after two Celtic fixtures were postponed following a breach of coronavirus restrictions. 

    Boli Bolingoli travelled to Spain without Celtic's knowledge and did not follow quarantine rules upon his return, going on to play in the 1-1 draw against Kilmarnock on Sunday. 

    Celtic condemned the Belgian's "stupidity", apologising to the league for his "irresponsible action" in a strongly worded statement. 

    Neil Lennon's team had been due to play St Mirren on Wednesday and Aberdeen on Saturday, but those games – along with Aberdeen's midweek clash with Hamilton Academical – will not now take place. 

    Before the SPFL confirmed the cancellations, Sturgeon said: "I don't want the season to be in jeopardy. But we have to be very clear this situation is not acceptable. 

    "You should not be expecting to see Aberdeen or Celtic play over the course of the coming week. Consider today the yellow card. The next time it will be the red card because you will leave us with absolutely no choice." 

    Bolingoli's blunder came after two Aberdeen players tested positive for coronavirus, with eight players from the Pittodrie club issuing an apology for breaking guidelines after visiting a bar following their opening-weekend defeat to Rangers.  

    Sturgeon has been left furious by the footballers' conduct and said in her daily briefing on Tuesday: "What I regret is that some football players seem incapable of living up to their responsibilities." 

    She added: "This is just not acceptable. Every day I'm asking members of the public to make huge sacrifices in how they live their lives and the vast majority of members of public are doing that and it's not easy. 

    "We can't have privileged football players deciding they're not going to bother. This can't go on." 

    Celtic did not hold back in their condemnation of Bolingoli, who has tested negative for COVID-19.  

    A club statement read: "It is difficult to imagine a more irresponsible action in current circumstances and we find it beyond explanation. The club will take immediate action through our own disciplinary procedures. 

    "All of our playing and backroom staff have been tested twice for COVID-19 since this incident and all, including the player in question, have tested negative. While this comes as a relief to all concerned, it in no way diminishes the seriousness or stupidity of the player's actions." 

    Bolingoli said: "I am guilty of a major error of judgement. I know what I did was wrong and I know that I must now deal with the consequences."

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