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The man at the head of the table in the Westfalenstadion boardroom can’t see his prized asset leaving the club this year.
Hans-Joachim Watzke has expressed his belief that Erling Haaland will remain at Borussia Dortmund for at least one more season.
Haaland has been a revelation since completing a € 20 million (£ 18 million / $ 25 million) move to Dortmund from Red Bull Salzburg in January 2019. The Norwegian leader has scored 33 goals in as many appearances for the German club, including 17 in the first half of his last season.
He was left blank in his first game back after recovering from injury on Sunday, with Manuel Akanji and Jadon Sancho scoring the goals in a 2-0 home win over Wolfsburg.
Interim head coach Edin Terzic will likely include Haaland in his starting eleven again for a crucial trip to RB Leipzig next weekend, as Dortmund aim to close the gap with current Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich. .
The 20-year-old’s fan list has grown since he moved to the Westfalenstadion, and Real Madrid are now eager to bring the forward to the Santiago Bernabéu as a possible long-term successor to Karim Benzema.
Manchester United and Manchester City have also been strongly linked to Haaland, but Watzke says he should try to follow the same path as Robert Lewandowski, who spent four years with Dortmund before accepting an offer from Bayern.
When asked if the former Salzburg star could leave in 2021, the Dortmund CEO said Kicker: “I don’t think it will happen. Erling and his advisor Mino Raiola know what they have in us. I can only advise you to do things like Robert Lewandowski.”
Watzke added that Haaland needs more time to develop his game before looking for a new challenge at a higher level: “Haaland took the time to mature and become an absolute world-class player in Dortmund. You won’t be able to do that in a year.
“Because it’s clear that if Erling leaves us at some point, then he will only go to an even bigger club, and many are not considered.
“If you join a club like, just for example, Real Madrid, you have to be world class.”
Haaland has a contract to stay on Dortmund’s books until 2024, but it has been reported that a 75 million euro (£ 67 million / $ 92 million) release clause was included in that deal, to be activated in the summer of 2022.