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Salzburg Director Confirms Erling Haaland Transfer Talks with Dortmund, Leipzig

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistDecember 12, 2019

NAPLES, ITALY - NOVEMBER 05: Erling Braut Haaland of RB Salzburg celebrates after scoring the 0-1 goal during the UEFA Champions League group E match between SSC Napoli and RB Salzburg at Stadio San Paolo on November 05, 2019 in Naples, Italy. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)
Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

Red Bull Salzburg sporting director Christoph Freund has confirmed star forward Erling Haaland has held transfer talks with both Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig with a view to a possible January move.

The 19-year-old has emerged as one of the hottest prospects in European football this season, excelling for the Austrian outfit in the UEFA Champions League.

Naturally, transfer speculation regarding Haaland has intensified, and reports recently surfaced suggesting that the player had held talks with two Bundesliga sides. Freund told the press on Thursday that the teenager had been in negotiations with both Dortmund and Leipzig, per James Westwood of Goal.

"We are involved in all discussions," he said. "Of course, we also knew that Haaland was in Leipzig and Dortmund yesterday. Everyone in Salzburg wants the best for him."

According to Fabrizio Romano and Marcus Christenson of the Guardian, the striker has a release clause of around £21.2 million.

It's added that while the Bundesliga clubs have held discussions with the youngster, both Manchester United and Juventus remain interested in the Norwegian and will seek to talk to him about a transfer.

Per Westwood, Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc refused to address the speculation on Thursday. "Neither to this nor to other personalities I will comment," he said. "The focus is on our game in Mainz. To everything else there is no comment."

Per Sport Witness, Haaland's movements on Wednesday were collated by the Austrian press:

Sport Witness @Sport_Witness

So, this jet Erling Braut Haaland and Mino Raiola took to Dortmund, Austrian newspaper Kurier have tracked it. These are truly the best aspects of transfer rumours. It was a Cessna 680, and it all started in Hannover at 8.24am on Wednesday morning...

Sport Witness @Sport_Witness

They didn't then fly to Dortmund, but first travelled to Leipzig instead. The jet stayed in Leipzig for more than 2 and a half hours. Insinuation being talks were held with them too. At about 4pm, they arrived in Dortmund, with the jet flying back to Nice at 8pm.

As David Lynch of the Evening Standard reported, it appears Haaland may not be the only big name on his way out of Salzburg in January, with Liverpool in talks with winger Takumi Minamino: 

David Lynch @LynchStandard

RB Salzburg sporting director Christoph Freund on talks with #LFC over Takumi Minamino: "I can confirm that there are currently discussions with Liverpool. It is an honour [such] clubs are interested in our players." https://t.co/da5xQc9vAP

Haaland has hogged the majority of headlines when it comes to Salzburg this season, though, as he's consistently converted the chances created by this enterprising side.

Per Squawka Football, the 2-0 loss to Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday was the first time he hasn't found the net when he's appeared in the competition:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Erling Håland has failed to score in a Champions League game for the first time in his career. ⚽️⚽️⚽️ vs. Genk ⚽️ vs. Liverpool ⚽️⚽️ vs. Napoli ⚽️ vs. Napoli ⚽️ vs. Genk ✖️ vs. Liverpool EIGHT goals in your first six isn't bad, though. 😉 https://t.co/AZv7OedTTd

In addition to his prolific form on the European stage, Haaland has grabbed 16 goals in 14 appearances in the Austrian Bundesliga.

A move away from Salzburg feels inevitable for the Norwegian, and it will be intriguing to see what club he chooses to join. Former Norway international Jan Aage Fjortoft looked at the positives and negatives behind each club Haaland has spoken to: 

Jan Aage Fjortoft 🏳️‍🌈 🇳🇴 @JanAageFjortoft

Re: Haaland Dortmund + - developing young players - need his type of striker - stadium / fans - - how long will Favre stay - don’t know who’s next coach Leipzig + - Nagelsmann - philosophy of playing/creating players - still part of Red Bull - - many strikers

Haaland will surely be keen to play regular football after his transfer. At the likes of Dortmund and Leipzig, that would be more feasible than at United or Juventus.

Given the form he's shown and the potential for improvement, whoever lands Haaland for the aforementioned fee will be getting a major coup.