Michael Zorc disagrees with Mino Raiola's assessment that as many as 10 clubs would realistically be in the running to buy Erling Haaland if he wanted to leave Borussia Dortmund.

The Norway international has been prolific since joining the Bundesliga club midway through the 2019-20 season, scoring 43 goals in as many appearances in all competitions.

Haaland's contract is rumoured to include an agreement allowing him to leave for a €75million fee at the end of the 2021-22 campaign.

Raiola, the striker's agent, said this week that a list of potential buyers only just reaches double figures, with four possible destinations in the Premier League.

While Dortmund sporting director Zorc has no problem with Raiola speaking out on Haaland's future, he believes even fewer clubs would appeal to the 20-year-old if he decides to move on.

"It is clear that Erling Haaland can't and won't pick just any club after his time at Dortmund," he told a media conference.

"I can't even pick out 10 possible clubs. So, there is no dissent. It was a normal statement he [Raiola] has to give from time to time. 

"We are happy to have Erling here with us and that he has scored in the last games and proven his value for us. I can only say that we will continue to plan with him and I don't think he is uncomfortable here in Dortmund."

Zorc also acknowledged the impressive form of ex-Dortmund striker Alexander Isak, who has scored 12 goals in 16 LaLiga starts for Real Sociedad this season. 

The Spanish side acquired him in a deal worth a reported €7.5m in 2019, but Dortmund managed to retain a buy-back clause. 

Zorc did not reveal if Dortmund were interested in re-signing Isak, but confirmed the club are keeping a close eye on the Sweden international's progress. 

"We think he made the right step going to Real Sociedad," he added. "In the beginning he impressed as a substitute and scored goals. 

"He has become a regular starter this season and scored a lot of goals in the past weeks. Of course, we are following all that."

Manchester City are reportedly considering a double swoop for Erling Haaland and Giovanni Reyna.

The Borussia Dortmund stars have been linked with moves, with Haaland in particular in high demand across Europe.

And high-flying City have their eyes on the duo.

 

TOP STORY – MAN CITY CONSIDER HAALAND, REYNA

Manchester City are considering moves for Dortmund stars Haaland and Reyna, according to 90min.

Haaland, 20, has scored 17 goals and provided three assists in 17 Bundesliga games this season.

Reyna, the 18-year-old American, has three goals and four assists in 21 league games.

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United continue to be linked with centre-backs. But the Daily Mail reports the Premier League club are unwilling to meet Sevilla defender Jules Kounde's £68million (€79m) release clause, although they remain interested in the 22-year-old.

- With Liverpool enduring a difficult season, Jurgen Klopp's future has become a talking point. Bild reports Klopp could take over as Germany coach after the 2022 World Cup despite having a contract with Liverpool until 2024.

- Another club linked with a move for Haaland are Chelsea. Metro reports Tammy Abraham, who has scored 12 goals this season and is out of contract in 2023, is unwilling to discuss a new deal with the club amid the Haaland rumours.

- Jesse Lingard is attracting interest after an impressive start to his West Ham career. The Daily Express reports Leicester City are prepared to challenge West Ham if they try to sign Lingard, who is on loan from Manchester United, permanently ahead of next season.

- Still without a club, it remains to be seen where Maurizio Sarri ends up next. CalcioMercato reports Fiorentina again met with the former Juventus and Chelsea boss, but a potential agreement remains complex.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer still speaks to Erling Haaland and said "let's see what life brings" when asked about the striker's future.

The Norway star was a target for the Red Devils before he joined Borussia Dortmund from Salzburg in January 2020.

Haaland's progress in Germany has been remarkable, the 20-year-old having scored 27 goals in all competitions this season, second only to Robert Lewandowski among Bundesliga players.

Clubs including United, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich continue to be linked with a bid for the player, who scored twice against Sevilla last week to become the first player in Champions League history to reach as many as 17 goals in his first 13 appearances.

Solskjaer is still in touch with a youngster who progressed through the system at Molde and is proud of the way he has developed.

"I think when you've had kids and players through as a coach you follow them, and I keep in touch with Erling," he said on Wednesday. "It's great to see him become the player he has become and I know he will improve.

"He's a Dortmund player and we wish him well there. Let's see what life will bring later on."

When pushed further on interest in Haaland last year and how well that reflects on United's recruitment efforts under Solskjaer, he said: "You know I can't speak about Erling because he's with Borussia Dortmund and it's disrespectful to talk too much about it, apart from that I know him and speak to him.

"Who wasn't interested in him a year ago? Everyone would say you take the best players in the world and he's a top player.

"In recruitment, we've done well. The signings we've made since I came to the club have contributed and added to the squad and that's what we have to do: we have to complement what we have with different types of players. I'm happy with our recruitment model and the processes we go through."

United are expected to sanction more outgoings in the next transfer window, with Juan Mata, whose contract expires at the end of the season, among those tipped to leave.

Although United have the option to extend the 32-year-old's deal by a further year, he has only started eight times in 2020-21 and has recently been linked with Serie A giants Juventus, Milan and Inter.

"I'm not surprised teams are interested in him," Solskjaer said. "He's a very good footballer, and a fantastic professional and human being.

"When the contracts are running towards the end, there'll be interest. I'm sure Juan has been able to speak to other clubs if he wanted to.

"I keep in touch with him all the time. We have a good dialogue."

What does the future hold for Andre Silva?

Silva has scored 18 Bundesliga goals this season, second only to Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski.

He could find himself at Manchester United if Eintracht Frankfurt reportedly pursue a permanent deal for Luka Jovic.

 

TOP STORY – SILVA BOUND FOR MANCHESTER?

Manchester United could be offered the chance to sign Eintracht Frankfurt star Andre Silva if Edinson Cavani leaves Old Trafford, according to The Sun.

Silva is taking the Bundesliga by storm this season, but Eintracht are reportedly looking to raise funds to re-sign Luka Jovic – who is currently on loan in Frankfurt – permanently from Real Madrid.

Portugal international Silva could become available if veteran forward Cavani departs after the former Paris Saint-Germain star arrived on a one-year deal at the start of the season.

 

ROUND-UP

- Eurosport claims Chelsea are growing increasingly confident of winning the race to sign Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland. The Norway international forward has been linked with Madrid, BarcelonaManchester City, Liverpool and United, as well as Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus.

Everton have joined United and Bayern Munich in trying to sign Norwich City full-back Max Aarons, reports Fabrizio Romano.

Tottenham will target Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope if PSG make a move for Hugo Lloris, says the Daily Mail.

- The Sun claims United veteran Juan Mata is being tracked by Serie A trio, Juventus, Inter and Roma.

Erling Haaland can be a star for the next decade but only 10 clubs are realistically in the running to buy the striker when he leaves Borussia Dortmund, according to Mino Raiola.

The Norway international has been prolific since joining the Bundesliga club midway through the 2019-20 season, soring 43 goals in as many appearances in all competitions.

Only Robert Lewandowski (56) at Bayern Munich and Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo (50) have managed more for a team in the top five European leagues since the start of January last year – and Haaland is still only 20. His minutes-per-goal average of 79.51 is better than both, though.

Haaland's contract at Dortmund is rumoured to include an agreement allowing him to leave for a €75million fee at the end of the 2021-22 campaign.

In an interview with BBC Sport, Raiola - who is the player's agent - explained why the list of potential buyers only just reaches double figures, with four possible destinations in the Premier League.

"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," Raiola said.

"He will be one of the future stars of the next decade because we see that stars such as [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic, Ronaldo and [Lionel] 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?'"

Raiola made clear he does not expect the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic to have an impact on "extraordinary talents" such as Haaland and Paul Pogba, another of his clients.

He caused a stir in December when suggesting ahead of Manchester United's crucial Champions League game with RB Leipzig that the midfielder was not happy at Old Trafford, making a contract extension appear unlikely.

United lost that game in Germany, a result that saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side miss out on the knockout stages of the competition.

"I don't think that it destabilised anybody, because they had a fantastic run and they were even first, for a period, in the league," Raiola said of his comments.

"You think big players like Pogba - or Solskjaer, who won everything in his life - get destabilised by what Mino Raiola says? Come on, please."

Toni Kroos was not entertaining transfer speculation ahead of Real Madrid's Champions League trip to Atalanta, claiming he would rather pass to injured team-mate Karim Benzema than Kylian Mbappe or Erling Haaland.

Mbappe and Haaland were outstanding as Europe's premier club competition returned last week.

Paris Saint-Germain striker Mbappe became just the second player ever to score a Champions League hat-trick away to Barcelona, while Haaland netted twice for Borussia Dortmund to swell his tally in the competition to 18 goals in 13 games.

The pair, aged 22 and 20 respectively, have predictably dominated discussion since then, with Europe's leading coaches asked about the possibility of signing either Mbappe or Haaland.

But Kroos was reluctant to weigh in, pointing out Madrid would not be able to call on the duo against Atalanta.

Asked who he would bring to the Santiago Bernabeu, the midfielder replied: "Good question. It's true: they're both very good at what they do.

"Those players would help any team - that's normal with the quality they have. The problem is that tomorrow neither of them are going to help us.

"We're just focusing on tomorrow's game. It doesn't help me if one or the other comes, that's not what we're thinking about at the moment.

"We're just going to try to win tomorrow with the players we have now. The rest is a question for the president."

Pressed further on which player he would rather create chances for, Kroos said simply: "Benzema."

Benzema has 17 goals in all competitions this season, the most of any Madrid player but 10 shy of Haaland and four fewer than Mbappe.

Among players in Europe's 'top five' leagues with 15 goals or more, only Marcus Rashford (one every 161 minutes), Son Heung-min (every 155 minutes) and Lautaro Martinez (every 151 minutes) have scored at a slower rate than Benzema (every 140 minutes).

Haaland nets every 79 minutes, second only to Luis Muriel (every 73 minutes), a Madrid opponent this week with Atalanta.

Benzema remains out of action with a knock as Madrid head to Bergamo with a threadbare squad.

Zinedine Zidane was able to name just 19 players to his travelling party, including five - in Diego Altube, Miguel Gutierrez, Sergio Arribas, Antonio Blanco and Hugo Duro - who are yet to start a match this season in all competitions.

Due to Benzema's absence, holding midfielder Casemiro is the most prolific player in the group, having scored six times this term.

"We have to do everything together," Kroos said. "We are missing players, important players, and not just one, a lot of them.

"We have to do everything together. Everyone that's here has to do a little bit extra. If we do that, we can do great things together, as we've seen in the last games."

Ronald Koeman is unwilling to discuss possible moves for Kylian Mbappe or Erling Haaland amid potential financial investment into Barcelona, depending on the identity of the club's next president. 

Toni Freixa, who is one of the three remaining candidates in the running for the role ahead of the election on March 7, has revealed he has reached an agreement with an investor that will make significant funds available. 

Speaking to RAC1, Freixa said the €250million injection is lined up to seal the addition of three "superstars" to the squad, of which two will be in attack. 

However, while waiting to see who will take over the presidential role, Koeman's only concern is on the current players at his disposal, rather than big-money signings for next season and beyond. 

"I don't know if this is true because until I talk to the new president, I can't say anything. I don't know," Koeman said on Tuesday. 

"We have to wait until we know who the new president is. He will be the one who will have to decide the future of the coach, the team [and] see what possibilities there are.  

"I'll wait until March 8 [the day after the election]."

Ahead of Barcelona's LaLiga game with Elche on Wednesday, Koeman was unsurprisingly asked about two obvious names that would meet the criteria laid out by Freixa, who said those lined up to join are "unique players".

Barca saw up close the talents of Mbappe when he scored a hat-trick in a 4-1 Champions League triumph for Paris Saint-Germain at Camp Nou, while Haaland has 27 goals already this season in all competitions. 

"This is not the time to talk about the other players," Koeman replied when asked about the young forward duo. 

"We are playing important games, and this could be the future of the club, or of a new president. We have to focus on our business.  

"These upcoming games are very decisive, and we are concentrating on this, which is the most important thing."

Barcelona head into the game against Elche looking to bounce back quickly from Sunday's surprise 1-1 home draw with Cadiz.

They have not lost any of their previous 16 meetings with Elche in LaLiga (W12 D4), keeping a clean sheet in the past nine. Lionel Messi has scored four goals in three matches against them in league action, an average of 1.33 per game.

Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland should join Bayern Munich or leave the Bundesliga to further his career, Lothar Matthaus says.

The Norway striker scored twice in the 4-0 win over Schalke last weekend to take his tally to 27 in all competitions this season, behind only Robert Lewandowski (31) among Bundesliga players.

Haaland also hit two in the 3-2 win at Sevilla in the Champions League last-16 first leg to become the first player in the competition's history to score as many as 17 goals in his first 13 appearances.

The 20-year-old only joined Dortmund last January but is already being linked with a post-season move to one of Europe's major clubs.

Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea have all been credited with an interest in Haaland, who is speculated to have a release clause of €75million that becomes active in 2022.

Bayern great Matthaus thinks Haaland ultimately has two choices at this stage of his career: pursue a move away from the Bundesliga, or sign for the champions.

"At a young age, he's a striker unlike any I've seen before: this goal tally, this power, passion, energy, as well as quality," he told Sport1.

"He could follow in the footsteps of other great footballers of the last 13 or 14 years.

"He won't be at Borussia Dortmund for life. He'll look for bigger clubs; he'll get a bigger wage. If he stays in the Bundesliga, there's only one step for him: Bayern."

Bayern have endured a dip in form of late, drawing with Arminia Bielefeld before a 2-1 loss at Eintracht Frankfurt.

Those results have allowed RB Leipzig to close to within two points of the leaders, and Matthaus thinks the challengers have an advantage in the title race due to squad depth.

Claiming a ninth title in a row for Bayern is "not a cast-iron guarantee", Matthaus wrote in his column for Sky.

He added: "It's already the case that [Bayern coach] Hansi Flick turns to the substitutes bench at critical moments and thinks, 'Who exactly can really help me now?'.

"If the situation worsens in terms of personnel, the season could end far less successfully."

Real Madrid, Manchester United, Barcelona, Manchester City, Chelsea and Juventus.

Europe's elite are lining up to sign Erling Haaland, but who will he join?

Whoever it is, Haaland is set to command a mammoth contract.

 

TOP STORY – HAALAND ASKING FOR LUCRATIVE DEAL

Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland wants a contract in the region of £78million (€90m) as speculation intensifies over his future, according to the Daily Star.

Haaland is a player in demand following his exploits for Bundesliga side Dortmund, linked with the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester United, Barcelona, Manchester City, Chelsea and Juventus.

The report claims Haaland wants a five-year deal worth around £300,000 (€346,000) per week.

 

ROUND-UP

- Should Kylian Mbappe leave for Madrid, Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain want to replace him with Tottenham star Harry Kane, claims the Mirror.

- Bild says Chelsea, Liverpool and United are interested in signing RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate. His centre-back partner Dayot Upamecano is set to join Bayern Munich at the end of the season, having been linked with the Premier League's elite.

Liverpool are preparing a £40m bid for Brighton and Hove Albion defender Ben White, reports Football Insider. Jurgen Klopp is desperate to bolster his injury-hit defence amid a difficult 2020-21 campaign.

- The Daily Mail says United are considering a move for Everton youngster Jarrad Branthwaite. The 18-year-old defender has impressed since joining the Toffees.

Leipzig lead the race to sign Ajax sensation Brian Brobbey, according to Diario AS. United, Milan and Bayern have also been linked.

Milan and Inter target Odilon Kossounou – who plays for Club Brugge - is also wanted by Premier League duo Arsenal and Wolves, claims The Sun.

- Calciomercato reports Juventus are eyeing Leicester City winger Timothy Castagne, who arrived from Atalanta at the start of the season.

Erling Haaland said he is learning from Zlatan Ibrahimovic after his stunning goal against Schalke, while Jadon Sancho hailed Borussia Dortmund's "goal machine".

Haaland scored a brace, including a spectacular volley, as Dortmund crushed lowly Schalke 4-0 in Saturday's Revierderby at the VELTINS-Arena.

After netting twice in the Champions League win at Sevilla on Wednesday, in-demand Norway international Haaland took his Bundesliga tally for Dortmund to 30 in 32 matches.

Reflecting on his memorable 45th-minute goal – teed up by star team-mate Jadon Sancho, Haaland told Bundesliga.com: "It was a nice goal.

"Obviously it was a good assist from Jadon. We try to work a lot and it's a pleasure to play with this guy."

Asked if he had developed a taste for spectacular goals from Swedish great Ibrahimovic, Haaland – who has been linked to the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester City, Barcelona, Juventus and Manchester United – replied: "Maybe. Maybe I'm learning a bit from him!"

Sancho became the youngest player to reach 35 goals in Bundesliga history, aged 20 years, 10 months and 26 days.

Tipped to join Premier League powerhouse United at the start of the season, England international Sancho lauded Haaland post-match.

"He's a goal machine," said Sancho. "I'm happy to assist his crazy goal, his first goal.

"On the training pitch, me and Erling work together so hard so I'm wasn't surprised that he's able to do some of the things he does on the pitch. He deserves all the credit."

Interim Dortmund head coach Edin Terzic heaped praise on both Haaland and Sancho afterwards.

"They've been fantastic in the past weeks as well," Terzic said. "You can see the quality those boys bring to us. At the second goal the cross by Jadon has already been remarkable and the way Erling hammered it in was extraordinary.

"But from a manager's perspective I have to say I preferred the third goal, because it was a great team effort where we've seen the exact things we practice in training, the way we want to combine and then quickly get behind the defence through one touch on the wings and play a cross. So the third goal makes me even happier and prouder."

On Sancho specifically following a slow start to the season, Terzic added: "It was clear that Jadon hasn't unlearnt how to play football. He is a very talented player, and we are quite spoilt seeing him on the pitch in the last couple of years, because he’s always been very productive.

"It wasn't an easy time for him, and we went through it together. I was asked a lot of times about how we deal with him. We talked a lot and we worked with him individually and tried supporting him as a team. He plays on the other side on and with Raphael Guerrero he's got a great partner with whom he can combine well. He found back to being a dangerous attacker and makes assists.

"He's back at his old strength but it doesn't mean we will stop progressing. We will continue and we have several tasks we need to achieve, and we need Jadon in top form for that."

Jadon Sancho became the youngest player to reach 35 goals in Bundesliga history, but team-mate Erling Haaland is fast closing in on that record after netting another double in Borussia Dortmund's 4-0 win over Schalke.

England international Sancho picked his spot from just inside the box to open the scoring for BVB in Saturday's Revierderby at the VELTINS-Arena.

Sancho, who joined Dortmund from Manchester City in August 2017, reached the 35-goal milestone at the age of 20 years, 10 months and 26 days.

However, Haaland took his Bundesliga tally for Dortmund to 30 in 32 matches in the same game. Almost four months younger than Sancho, Haaland has until the end of the season to snatch the record off his team-mate.

It was Sancho who set up Haaland for the first of his goals against Schalke, floating in a cross from the left for the Norway international to volley spectacularly past Ralf Fahrmann with both feet off the ground.

Raphael Guerreiro scored the visitors' third with an hour played and, fresh from bagging a brace against Sevilla in the Champions League, man-of-the-moment Haaland rounded off the scoring with a poked finish late on.

The victory over their fiercest moves sixth-placed Dortmund within six points of the top four, while Schalke remain bottom of the table with nine points from 22 matches.

Ronald Koeman says he has his "ideas for the future" of Barcelona after Los Cules were once again linked with a move for Borussia Dortmund superstar Erling Haaland.

Barca are in a state of flux as they await to vote in a new president to replace Josep Maria Bartomeu and the club contending with spiralling and eye-watering levels of debt.

Despite their perilous financial position, Barca are among the clubs reportedly interested in signing Haaland, who saw his stock continue to rise with a double in Dortmund's 3-2 win over Sevilla in the Champions League last-16 first leg.

That made the Norway international the quickest player to reach double figures for goals in the competition for a single club, doing so in just seven matches - three games fewer than Roy Makaay for Bayern Munich between 2003 and 2004.

Former Salzburg star Haaland has 18 goals in 13 games in the competition overall, which is a tally only Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski can match since the start of 2019-20.

Barca head coach Koeman was asked about the possibility of bringing Haaland to Camp Nou and, while keeping his cards close to his chest, did not entirely rule out a move.

"I have my ideas for the future of this club," Koeman told a news conference when previewing Barca's LaLiga clash with Cadiz on Sunday. 

"But I have to wait for who is going to be the president to sit down and talk about the future."

Earlier this week, presidential hopeful Joan Laporta suggested Haaland would be a target should he be successful in his bid.

"If we have to improve the football team, I have the cards and I'm ready to play them," he said in direct response to the links with Haaland.

"It's because of the experience and the knowledge I have of the people who could intervene in all these situations.

"I want to send a message of calm to the Barcelona fans - we will be economically sustainable again."

Manchester City are reportedly yet to begin talks over a move for Lionel Messi, while Erling Haaland is Barcelona's ideal signing.

Messi's future continues to be a major talking point as the star's contract at Barcelona expires at the end of the season.

City have been one of the clubs most strongly linked with a move for the six-time Ballon d'Or winner, but it seems the Premier League giants are waiting.

 

TOP STORY – MAN CITY YET TO BEGIN MESSI TALKS

Manchester City are yet to open talks with Lionel Messi, according to ESPN.

The report says City will wait until the Argentina international has decided his Barcelona future before considering negotiations.

It comes after claims the Premier League side had already tabled an offer to Messi.

 

ROUND-UP

- Erling Haaland is wanted by numerous European giants. Mundo Deportivo reports the Borussia Dortmund star would be Barcelona's ideal signing, but the LaLiga side are considering more affordable options.

- Manchester United were seemingly keen to land Barcelona forward Ansu Fati last year. Mundo Deportivo says a £129.7million (€150m) bid from United for the 18-year-old was rejected ahead of 2020-21.

- With Tottenham slipping to ninth in the Premier League, Jose Mourinho has come under fire. ESPN reports Spurs chairman Daniel Levy will wait until the end of the season to make a decision on the head coach.

- Out of contract at the end of the season, Gianluigi Donnarumma is yet to agree to a new deal with Milan. 90min claims the 21-year-old wants to succeed Manchester United shot-stopper David de Gea as the highest paid goalkeeper in the world, although he is prepared to take reduced terms at Milan.

- Thierry Henry could be set to take over at Bournemouth. talkSPORT reports the Championship club have requested permission from CF Montreal, where Henry is currently in charge, to talk to the Arsenal great.

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone believes any club signing Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland would become a "super team".

Paris Saint-Germain star Mbappe and Borussia Dortmund forward Haaland have been linked to numerous European giants.

Real Madrid have been credited with an interest in both and coach Zinedine Zidane talked up the duo's talent on Friday.

Simeone feels the pair could work together, and said they could create an incredible team.

"They are two great players who have different characteristics. They can be compatible playing together," he told a news conference.

"And the team who can afford to have them both together, they would have a super team."

Atletico are six points clear atop LaLiga and have a game in hand ahead of hosting Levante on Saturday.

Zinedine Zidane enjoyed watching Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland in Champions League action, though he refused to be drawn over his preference amid links to Real Madrid.

Mbappe lit up the start of the knockout stages of the European competition with a hat-trick for Paris Saint-Germain against Madrid's domestic rivals Barcelona on Tuesday, helping the French club record an outstanding 4-1 triumph at Camp Nou.

Just 24 hours later, Haaland continued his astonishing scoring exploits in the Champions League, becoming the fastest player to reach 10 goals for one club as he struck twice for Borussia Dortmund in a 3-2 victory away to Sevilla in the last 16.

Both young forwards have been rumoured as transfer targets for Madrid, so it was hardly surprising they were a topic of discussion for Zidane during his pre-match media conference ahead of Saturday's LaLiga trip to Real Valladolid.

Asked for his assessment of fellow Frenchman Mbappe, he replied: "I think the performance he put in earlier this week was marvellous. 

"I loved seeing what he did because we know each other from France.

"It's very good for football, I watched the game as a fan. I had a very good time watching it. He has a lot of good movement, a lot of good play."

French media has claimed Mbappe has been offered a new long-term deal to remain at PSG. The 22-year-old's current contract runs until 2022, which is the same year Haaland can leave Dortmund for €75million (£65m), according to a reported agreement with the Bundesliga club.

Madrid head coach Zidane, however, was not interested in revealing which of the duo he ranked higher.

"Like I said, what I like is just watching football. I just like watching good football, good players on the pitch," he said. 

"Two tremendous players, for now and the future. That's it. I'm not going to say who I prefer over the other. Everyone has their opinion."

The continued rise of Mbappe and Haaland as superstars has led to suggestions they can step in and become the next great pairing, taking over from the longstanding rivalry between Madrid legend Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona captain Lionel Messi.

"They are quality players both of them, just like Messi and Cristiano," Zidane said. "Neymar, all these world class players, they're just like them.

"They're younger, they're demonstrating they are not just players for the future but players for the present."

 

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