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Dortmund stand defiant as they refuse to be bullied over Haaland

Borussia Dortmund have issued a defiant stance on the future of Erling Haaland amid interest from the Premier League and major European clubs.

Haaland is being courted by some of world football’s biggest clubs following his stunning performances since arriving at the Westfalenstadion, scoring 49 goals in just 53 appearances across all competitions for Dortmund.

The 20-year-old’s future has been a constant in the headlines in recent weeks with the forward’s representatives reported to have held talks with Real Madrid and Barcelona, whilst there has been speculation regarding Premier League interest from Chelsea, Liverpool and both Manchester clubs.

Dortmund have endured a disappointing domestic season and currently sit fifth in the Bundesliga, seven points adrift of the top four and facing the prospect of missing out on Champions League qualification.

The club’s potential absence from Europe’s elite has increased the possibility Haaland could leave, given the forward’s desire to play Champions League football and continued financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, Dortmund chief Hans-Joachim Watzke has insisted the club are under no pressure to sell players this summer and suggested Haaland will only leave if an interested suitor meets his asking price in full.

“When Covid-19 struck, we had no debt. Not one euro,” Watzke told the BBC. “Because of that, it is a comfortable situation. We do not have to sell a player. That is important.

“The rich clubs in the world, they must know when they want a player from Borussia Dortmund there are two possibilities. The first is that I tell them they have no chance. Other times, I will tell them ‘this is the price’. Then they must know this is the price. It is not another price.

“We are very clear. We are very honest.”

Haaland’s future looks set to be the saga of the summer and the uncertainty leaves Dortmund in a familiar position, having seen Jadon Sancho linked continually with a move to Manchester United during last summer’s window.

Watzke admits he gets ‘tired’ of the rumour mill surrounding his side’s leading players and reiterated his belief that he knows where Haaland will be playing his football next season.

“I do get tired of it,” said Watzke. “Last summer, everybody in England, everybody in Europe, every journalist told the public ‘Jadon Sancho will play for Manchester United or wherever’. But he is still playing for Borussia Dortmund. Now everybody writes ‘Erling Haaland will next season play for Real Madrid or for Barcelona, or for this or this’.

“The only way is to look after 1 September at where he is playing. I think I know where he will be playing but that is all I have to say.”

Watzke also discussed Haaland’s agent, Mino Raiola, who has been no stranger to controversy during a career representing some of the leading names in world football.

The Dortmund CEO insists he has a strong working relationship with the super agent and insists there are no problems between the club and their star forward’s representative.

“Mino is a special guy,” he added.

“He wants to make the best deal for his player. That is his work. I know Mino very well. Mino knows me very well. We have no problems. Everybody knows what the other wants to do.”

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