It is all but guaranteed that Erling Haaland won’t be at Borussia Dortmund this time next year, but could his much-talked-about move happen even sooner than people think?
Since bursting onto the scene at RB Salzburg in 19/20, Haaland has become one of the best strikers in world football.
His 71 goals in 70 games in Germany highlight his undoubted ability, and having led Dortmund to a DFB-Pokal last season, it feels like the right time for him to take the next step in his career.
The Norwegian has a £68 million release clause that will become active from the summer of 2022, with all of Europe’s elite likely to make a move.
And while it was widely expected clubs would wait until then to snap him up, rumours are circulating that he may be on the move sooner.
Having been eliminated from the Champions League with one group game still to be played, it would now appear Dortmund’s season hinges on an unlikely title triumph over Bayern Munich.
With this in mind and with the fact they may be able to get more than his release clause if they cash in now, there is a growing possibility that Haaland may be available in January.
Real Madrid and Manchester City would likely be the top destinations, with a move to Spain thought to be the player’s preferred destination.
However, Manchester United are also very much in the race for the 21-year-old and have been linked with him since he made his move to Dortmund in January 2020.
United have a reported £100 million to spend this January under Ralf Rangnick, and while a striker is not the top priority, a move for Haaland may be too good to turn down.
Rangnick oversaw Haaland’s move to Salzburg in 2019 and the German is thought to have a good working relationship with him and may be keen to bring him to Manchester.
If United are to make any signings this window it should be a defensive midfielder, as choosing a lethal goalscorer over one in the summer severely hurt the balance of the team and ultimately led to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s undoing.