Man City’s Erling Haaland considering Real Madrid transfer because of Lionel Messi: Report

The 23-year-old Norwegian forward is seriously considering leaving Pep’s squad

haaland and messi

Amidst the “Mbappe to Bernabueu” saga, fresh reports claim that Manchester City forward Erling Haaland is also thinking about switching his base to the Spanish capital. The 23-year-old Norwegian forward is seriously considering leaving Pep Guardiola’s squad to join Real Madrid — Europe’s most successful club.

Former Borussia Dortmund star Haaland inked a fiver-year-deal with Manchester City in the summer of 2022. The impact was immediate as City won the treble, largely thanks to the attack spearheaded by Haaland, who scored 52 goals from 53 games in all competitions.

A release clause of €200m in 2024 and €175m in 2025 was part of the contract he signed with Manchester City.

What changed?

Haaland has discussed the prospects of a Real Madrid move with his “inner circle”, ESPN said in a report. Finishing second behind Lionel Messi in the FIFA Awards, despite crossing the 50-goal mark and the treble win is said to have forced the Norwegian to rethink his options. According to ESPN, Haaland wonders whether a “move to a club like Madrid” is the push he wants to become the alpha of the footballing world.

After Karim Benzema’s departure, Real Madrid have largely depended on their wingers and midfielder Jude Bellingham than Joselu — the striker in the squad. While the Spaniard has not been a disaster at Madrid, there is no contention that the 33-year-old is a long-term ingredient for Carlo Ancelotti’s attacking plans.

Meanwhile, Frenchman Kylian Mbappe began this season in a transfer standoff with his club PSG after not taking up the option of a 12-month extension into 2025. It meant that starting Jan. 1, he could openly talk to other clubs or even sign a pre-contract agreement with long-time suitor Real Madrid.

The Mbappe factor 

Mbappe can do so because his contract runs out in June when he can leave the defending French champion for free, having joined from Monaco —- initially on loan in 2017 — for 180 million euros (now $199 million). The France star is PSG’s all-time leading scorer with 233 goals despite only recently turning 25, and has already netted some 46 goals for Les Bleus. But it has been frustrating at times for Mbappe at PSG, which failed to reach the quarterfinals of the Champions League in the last two seasons and has scraped through to the last 16 in second place this season.

Earlier, PSG rejected an offer of 180 million euros for Mbappe in 2021 and Real missed out a year later when Mbappe — amid frenzied speculation that the Los Blancos would finally get him to join — signed a new deal with PSG in May 2022.

Mbape held aloft the PSG jersey that day with 2025 on the back. But he was reportedly annoyed because the actual deal only took him to 2024 and, while good PR for the club, it was also seen as somewhat presumptuous to expect he would sign the extension given his world renown.

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