Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has said he has a ‘clear expectation’ that superstar striker Erling Haaland will remain at the club next season, despite serious interest from the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barcelona.
A return of 53 goals in 56 appearances for Dortmund since January 2020, in addition to 28 he scored in 22 games for Red Bull Salzburg in the first half of last season, has made the Norwegian prodigy the most coveted player in Europe.
But Dortmund, who successfully held their ground last summer when Manchester United wanted to sign Jadon Sancho, have remained adamant that Haaland will not be sold this year.
"I have the clear expectation that Erling Haaland will play for us next year and I don't waste any thoughts on anything else,” a defiant Watzke told Sport Bild in Germany.
Haaland is rumoured to have a €75m (£64.5m) release clause that comes into effect in the summer of 2022, but Dortmund are refusing to be pressure into selling him any sooner.
“I think [clubs] know about the contract situation and our stance there as well. I am just totally relaxed. Nobody believed us with Jadon Sancho last summer until deadline day, and he's still with us today,” the Dortmund official explained.
Bayern Munich executive Oliver Kahn has already ruled the Bundesliga champions out of any race for Haaland this year, insisting that the figures involved would simply be too high.
“A package that costs - as we heard - over €100m is unimaginable for FC Bayern at the moment,” he explained in comments made to German publication Bild.
Haaland’s agent, Mino Raiola, recently admitted that he has already been told by Dortmund that the player is not for sale this summer. Equally, the player is yet to make up his mind about what to do.
“[Haaland] has to tell me when all things are clear in my head and I can make a menu, and put it on his plate: we have that, this and this…but for now we can't,” the agent explained earlier this month.
“What we know today is that Dortmund spoke very seriously with us and told us not to sell. That is what they have said. Now, you have to see if that desire exists until 1 September.”
90min revealed this week that both Manchester City and Chelsea are weighing up Inter forward Lautaro Martinez as a possible alternative target up front if they cannot secure Haaland.