Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke responded to striker Erling Haaland’s recent comments about the club pressuring over making a decision regarding his future in an interview with German public broadcaster ARD.
“The truth is that we were surprised by that statement because we hadn’t spoken to him yet. To say Dortmund would give Haaland an ultimatum is [stupidity]. There is no deadline.”
Watzke also claimed the club will find a suitable replacement for Haaland should he depart this summer. The 21-year-old Norwegian international made the comments after netting twice against Freiburg last Friday.
“Borussia Dortmund is now pressuring me to make a decision for next season, but I just want to play football. That probably means I’ll have to make a decision soon.”
Watzke isn’t the only Dortmund executive to dismiss the comments made by Haaland. Sebastian Kehl, director of players’ licenses, also denied the club rushing the decision.
“There is nothing new, there are no conversations. I was surprised by Erling’s statements. I’ll talk to him; I’ll ask him why he gives such an interview after a match we won 5-1. We haven’t exerted any pressure.”
Haaland’s current contract runs through 2024, however his release clause reportedly triggers this summer. There have been many rumors circulating that suggests this will be his last season in Dortmund. It’s clear this is at least causing some friction between the player and club.
Real Madrid is among the teams reportedly interesting in signing Haaland away this summer. There’s still a long road ahead as Haaland, his agent (Mino Raiola) and his current club seek a resolution to this saga.