Manchester City have not yet made an approach for Erling Haaland, though Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke knows that any offer the Premier League champions did make would be unmatchable for the Bundesliga club.

Haaland is reportedly City's priority target ahead of next season, as Pep Guardiola looks to bring in a top-class striker.

The 21-year-old has had a stop-start campaign with Dortmund due to injuries, but has still scored 23 times in as many matches, averaging a goal every 77 minutes across all competitions.

Haaland has been a sensation since signing for Dortmund in the middle of the 2019-20 season, though seems likely to leave the club at the end of the campaign when a €75million buy-out clause in his contract reportedly kicks in.

City, along with Barcelona, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, have been heavily linked. Watzke, however, insisted no official approach has yet been made by any club.

Dortmund's chief executive is under no illusion, though, that the club would be unable to compete financially should City make an offer. But he is confident that BVB's model of investing in new talent after losing star players will continue to prove fruitful.

Speaking to Sport Bild, Watzke said: "I've given up judging media rumours. Otherwise, my day would have to have 36 hours.

 

"We don't currently know anything specific from the player side, nor has anyone approached us. However, we cannot keep up financially if Manchester City comes in [for Haaland].

"We've seen it a few times: we lost [Robert] Lewandowski to Bayern in 2014 and [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang to Arsenal in 2018.

"We've always created a new star. If Haaland leaves, we will find another new talent and develop it into a star, and that will also do the Bundesliga good."

Watzke would not comment on any potential targets for Dortmund, though.

Haaland scored twice in Norway's 9-0 hammering of Armenia on Tuesday, having previously netted for his country in last week's 2-0 win over Slovakia.

Now, the striker's immediate focus will be on helping Dortmund push Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga title race, with Marco Rose's team – who face RB Leipzig in a huge game on Saturday – trailing the league leaders by six points.

Borussia Dortmund should have a clear idea on Erling Haaland's future in the next six weeks, but their chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke insisted they can cope without their talisman.

Haaland has taken the Bundesliga by storm since he arrived from Salzburg in January 2020, scoring 80 goals in 79 appearances across all competitions – finding the net once every 80.5 minutes on average.

That has made him one of the most sought-after talents in European football, with a host of elite clubs circling for when his reported €75million release clause kicks in at the end of this season.

The 21-year-old is yet to declare his intentions, with Dortmund head coach Marco Rose suggesting he has not given up hope of retaining Haaland's services.

Dortmund chief Watzke revealed a conclusion to discussions will likely arrive soon, though he believes Rose's side will recover even if they lose their star striker.

When asked whether Dortmund can keep Haaland by n-tv, Watzke responded: "I don't know. That will certainly clear up in the next few weeks, maybe a month, maybe six weeks.

"If he decides to leave, we will deal with it the way we always have. We have lost a few goalscorers in the past: Robert Lewandowski, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. We will find someone new again."

 

Dortmund have managed without Haaland for the past month after the forward, who has scored four goals in four games in all competitions to start 2022, sustained a muscle injury.

Rose's team have netted 25 times in eight matches this calendar year – trailing only Liverpool (31) and Real Betis (29) across Europe's top five leagues.

Dortmund will be hoping to continue that rich vein of scoring form when they look to overturn a 4-2 deficit at Rangers in the second leg of their Europa League knockout round play-off at Ibrox on Thursday.

Hans-Joachim Watzke has slammed the suggestion that Borussia Dortmund have issued Erling Haaland an ultimatum over his future as "total b***s***".

Haaland, who joined Dortmund in January 2020 from Austrian club Salzburg, is one of the most sought-after talents in European football.

Since the Norway forward made his Dortmund debut just over two years ago, he has netted 79 goals in all competitions.

He marked his two-year anniversary with a goal on Tuesday, though Dortmund nevertheless suffered a shock 2-1 defeat to St Pauli in the DFB-Pokal.

It means that, for the first time since 2006-07, neither Dortmund nor Bayern Munich will contend in the DFB-Pokal quarter-finals, while none of the winners from across the previous 26 years are left in this season's competition.

That defeat followed on from an emphatic Bundesliga win over Freiburg on Friday, though it was after that match that Haaland commented on his future.

The 21-year-old claimed Dortmund had been pressuring to make a decision on his next move, and that he would soon make a call on whether he will look to leave the club at the end of the season. 

However, Dortmund chief executive Watzke, who did over the weekend acknowledge they had stressed the importance of Haaland making a decision soon to the striker, has insisted the club have not made any ultimatum.

"Some in the media write that BVB would give him an ultimatum, which is total bullshit," he told ARD.

"Dortmund didn't put the gun on his chest."

 

Asked if Dortmund had been unsettled by Haaland's comments, Watzke added: "Erling was obviously a bit bothered by it, but we can't influence that. We told him that too."

Since his Dortmund bow, only Robert Lewandowski (107) has scored more goals than Haaland across all competitions, of players in Europe's top five leagues.

Haaland averages a goal every 80 minutes, while his tally has come from an expected goals (xG) of 63, suggesting his finishing has been way above the standard that would be expected given the quality of chances that have been created for him.

As for big chances – which Opta define as an opportunity from which a player would reasonably be expected to score – Haaland has been presented with 110 and converted 65 of them.

That equals a conversion rate of 59.1 per cent, which is better than eight of the top 10 goalscorers across Europe's top five leagues in that time, with Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes, who has netted 32 of his 49 big chances (65.3 per cent) having a better conversion rate.

Real Madrid are "very interested" in Erling Haaland but Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke wants the in-demand striker to stay in the Bundesliga.

Haaland joined Dortmund from Salzburg after the Bundesliga side met his €20million release clause in December 2019 and has dominated the German top flight from there on in.

The Norway international became the quickest to 50 goals in the Bundesliga and the youngest to do so at just 21, while Robert Lewandowski (58) is the only player to score more goals than Haaland (43) across all competitions in Europe's top-five leagues in 2021.

Haaland is reported to have a €75million buy-out clause that will come into force at the end of the season, with his name already being touted among Europe's elite by his agent Mino Raiola.

Madrid, who missed out on Kylian Mbappe in the last transfer window, are said to be one of the leading candidates for Haaland's signature.

However, Dortmund chief Watzke believes the 21-year-old will be best served to stay put.

"No matter where I go, everyone speaks to you about Erling Haaland," Watzke told German outlet BILD.

"All I know is a guarantee that Real Madrid are very interested in him. 

"I could name 25 others now. But I know for sure, it can be that he leaves, but it can also be that he stays. A few days ago I had a very good conversation with Mino Raiola, when we are in a target corridor, the conversations are always quite friendly and that phone call was quite friendly. 

"We will certainly have another meeting in the next few weeks. The focus is on the overall development of Haaland. 

"Just like with Lewandowski, I would like to be proud of Erling at some point if he wins the Champions League. Personally, I think it's good for him if he stays in the Bundesliga a little longer."

 

Haaland has scored 30 Bundesliga goals this calendar year – a new club record for a Dortmund player in a calendar year, surpassing Lothar Emmerich (29 goals in 1966) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (29 goals in 2015).

Indeed, Haaland has 13 goals in 11 Bundesliga appearances this term, while that tally increases to 19 across all competitions.

Marco Rose's side sit nine points off leaders Bayern Munich heading into the German top flight's mid-season break after a disappointing 3-2 loss at Hertha Berlin on Saturday.

Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke says that it is "unfair" that Paris Saint-Germain have signed Lionel Messi.

PSG unveiled Messi on Wednesday following his free transfer move from Barcelona on a bumper two-year deal.

Watzke, who has had to ward off strong interest in Dortmund's prized asset Erling Haaland this off-season, said Qatari-owned PSG's economic position was unfair.

“It is a fact that PSG has more economic resources than 85 per cent of other European teams," Watzke said as reported by L'Equipe.

"It is clear that this is an unfair competition that has already been rife for too long but I am by no means jealous.

"Frankly, it wouldn't be my cup of tea to have to kneel down every fourth morning in front of the Emir of Qatar."

PSG have signed Messi along with Georginio Wijnaldum, Sergio Ramos and Gianluigi Donnarumma on free transfers this off-season, bumping up their player wages.

The Parisians also spent €60million to sign Internazionale full-back Achraf Hakimi, having purchased Mauro Icardi for the Nerazzurri 12 months ago for €50m.

Jadon Sancho will join Manchester United in an €85million (£72.9million) deal after asking for a move to Old Trafford, Borussia Dortmund have confirmed.

The England winger has been a long-time target of the Premier League giants, who negotiated a deal during recent weeks and have now reached agreement with Dortmund.

The 21-year-old Sancho will become the fourth most expensive signing in United's history, behind Paul Pogba, Harry Maguire and Romelu Lukaku.

United were keen on Sancho last year but could not drive through a deal at the time, with Dortmund reluctant to sell one of their chief assets.

Now, though, they have been persuaded to part company with a player who scored twice in their DFB-Pokal final win over RB Leipzig seven weeks ago.

Since joining Dortmund in 2017, Sancho scored 50 goals and provided 57 assists in 137 appearances across all competitions. He is currently on duty with England at Euro 2020.

Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke said in a news conference: "This is done explicitly at Jadon's request. We would have liked to keep him. But he has behaved fantastically. We are sad that he is leaving, but we will surely find a solution."

 

Dortmund said in a statement to the Frankfurt stock exchange: "The player Jadon Sancho is about to change from Borussia Dortmund to Manchester United.

"Both clubs and the player reached agreement in principle today."

Dortmund also confirmed the fee, adding: "The formal processing of the transfer is also subject to a successful completion of all required medical tests and examinations, a coordination procedure with the player's former club as well as the orderly and timely processing in accordance with the provisions of the FIFA Transfer Matching System (FIFA TMS)."

Manchester City, from whom Dortmund acquired Sancho in 2017, will receive a cut of the transfer fee.

Sancho is the only player from Europe's top five leagues to have scored 10 goals or more and had at least 15 assists across all competitions in each of the last three seasons, while playing at that high level.

Borussia Dortmund managing director Hans-Joachim Watzke insists there is no economic need to sell Erling Haaland amid speculation he will remain in Germany until next year.

Haaland netted a double as Dortmund won the DFB-Pokal final 4-1 over RB Leipzig, with Jadon Sancho also chipping in with a brace.

The title is a major boost for Dortmund's hopes of retaining Haaland, who has been linked with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City and Chelsea this off-season.

Dortmund's uplift in Bundesliga form, which has seen them move into the Champions League spots, has also aided their cause to convince the Norwegian to stay.

"You always have fears in my job," Watzke said after Thursday's DFB-Pokal victory.

"We definitely want to keep Erling with us next season. You can see his value, you saw how committed he is last Saturday against Leipzig, with joy.

"Besides we still have it in our own hands, we just have to win twice more now. We have managed the club solidly for so many years, when we go into the second or third year of the coronavirus, then we have to take out a few loans at some point we will pay them back.

"But there is absolutely no economic need to sell him, regardless of whether it is a Europa League or Champions League."

Watzke also casually revealed that interim head coach Edin Terzic had extended his deal with the club to presumably work as an assistant under Marco Rose.

"Edin Terzic did a great job," he said. "He took over the team in December, it was half dead, and he brought it to life. That is a huge achievement at his first coaching station.

"He's holding the keys in his hand. He extended a long-term contract a few weeks ago.

"He's a Dortmund boy, he lives and breathes the club. If Edin wants to do something different, then we have to work with him. But we won't do that now."

Terzic was delighted with the DFB-Pokal success but remained focused on the bigger picture, with Dortmund determined to confirm a top four league spot with two games to play.

"That was definitely not our best game, but we found the key to success," he said.

"Now we all deserve to enjoy this evening tonight but the season is not over for us yet."

Outgoing Leipzig head coach Julian Nagelsmann, who will finish his time at the club without a trophy, said it was a "painful" loss.

"You can imagine that I'm not doing well but it's not about me, it's about the club," he said.

"It's painful. I know what the headlines are like now… We still have two Bundesliga games that are not that pleasant. I'm not thinking about my move [to Bayern Munich] now.

"I'm proud of the boys. "We weren't the worse team, we just scored fewer goals. Dortmund makes a lot out of a little."

Borussia Dortmund do not have an "alternative plan" should Erling Haaland leave the club, but they would listen to an "exceptional" offer for Jadon Sancho, according to managing director Hans-Joachim Watzke.

Norway international Haaland is in high demand after netting 49 goals in 50 appearances for Dortmund, attracting interest from the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City and Manchester United.

He has scored 21 goals in 22 Bundesliga games this term, adding another 10 from six games in the Champions League, a competition in which he tops the scoring charts.

Haaland's agent, Mino Raiola, is reported to have been in contact with a number of clubs as speculation over the 20-year-old's future grows.

But, according to Watzke, the Bundesliga outfit are not prepared to envisage life without him.

"We do not have a parallel plan," he told Goal. "We will discuss this in peace with Erling, his father and his advisor Mino Raiola. 

"We also want him to be happy to stay with us, to score goals for BVB next year with conviction. There is no alternative plan."

Another player heavily linked with a move away from the club is England international Sancho. 

Manchester United were reported to be close to a deal for the 21-year-old before the start of the 2020-21 season, but Sancho stayed in Germany. 

He has played 31 games across all competitions this term, scoring 12 goals. 

While Watzke expects a quiet off-season following the turmoil inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic, he said the club would not dismiss a significant bid for Sancho.  

Asked what the likelihood of Haaland and Sancho both playing for Dortmund next season is, Watzke responded: "I'm not getting involved in probabilities, it's no good. 

"Jadon Sancho has been with us much longer than Erling Haaland. We'll have to speak to Jadon, too. If there is an exceptional offer, we will discuss it with the player and the agent, as always. 

"Nonetheless, I am very sure that the transfer market will only run to a very limited extent this summer. Especially with the really big clubs, you can see what kind of wounds coronavirus has inflicted. They are not small ones that heal within two weeks."

Dortmund travel to Manchester City for the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final clash on Tuesday.

Borussia Dortmund do not expect to see their resolve to keep Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho tested by huge bids this close season.

Haaland and Sancho continue to be Dortmund's outstanding performers, predictably prompting transfer speculation.

Twenty-year-old striker Haaland has 29 goals in all competitions this season, a tally only topped by Robert Lewandowski (34) across Europe's 'top five' leagues.

Luis Muriel (one every 79 minutes) is the sole star to have scored 10 or more times at a faster rate than the Bundesliga pair; Lewandowski nets every 80 minutes, with Haaland marginally slower at every 86 minutes.

Meanwhile, winger Sancho ranks joint-fourth with his 13 assists and third with 82 chances created.

Haaland is expected to interest Europe's leading clubs, while Sancho was widely linked with Manchester United ahead of the 2020-21 campaign before staying in Dortmund.

BVB entered Saturday's game against Bayern Munich four points outside the Champions League places in the top flight, potentially increasing pressure when it comes to the futures of their leading stars.

But the coronavirus pandemic will limit spending again this year, according to BVB CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke.

"I do not believe that 'immoral' offers will come because I know the situation in the European leagues very well, also through my work in the ECA (European Club Association)," he told Sky Sport.

"The clouds are getting darker rather than brighter and I don't expect an extraordinary transfer summer.

"There are, of course, always two or three clubs, with whole states behind them, who find the means to pump money in. But in its entirety, I don't think crazy things happen [in the window].

"At the end of the day, it's our decision anyway [with Haaland and Sancho].

"But of course we always do it in such a way that we discuss it with the players. We would also like the players to be there with conviction and we will discuss every single case with the players if really extraordinary things happen.

"That is Michael Zorc's and Sebastian Kehl's task above all and we will get there. But I don't think it's going to be a huge transfer summer."

A fifth consecutive Bundesliga win against Dortmund would take Bayern back to the summit, but Saturday's visitors are well outside the title picture.

That is not a concern to Watzke, though, who added: "Oh, we honestly didn't have that on our radar this year. We saw it very defensively from the start.

"The times will come again, when we will be closer together again.

"Two years ago we had a huge opportunity. Unfortunately we didn't take it and then we finished second, but there was definitely the possibility.

"This year we are still in all three competitions. You have to see that and we have every opportunity to make another good season out of it."

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