LA LIGA

How can Erling Haaland still be linked to Real Madrid?

Ferland Mendy

When it comes to transfer gossip and rumours, it’s fair to say the Spanish football media is arguably the most creative, constantly feeding fans with theoretical possibilities and wild speculation. Now they’re at it again, regarding a player who has already signed for an English club, despite the ink barely having dried on his contract.

There are four major sports newspapers in Spain, all of whom are famed for fanning the flames our imaginations, turning even the most dubious of hearsay into headline news. Bias is another factor when being aware of these publications. In the Spanish capital of Madrid, AS and Marca lean unapologetically towards Real Madrid, while in Catalunya, Mundo Deportivo and Sport are heavily swayed in favour of Barcelona.

Inevitably, all of these publications are always on the lookout for stories that can engage their own readers, which helps to sell their printed newspapers and attract clicks to their digital domains. Remarkably, considering the player has quite literally just arrived at Manchester City, there are already claims by AS that Real Madrid will swoop for Erling Haaland in 2024.

Alongside the “Haaland 2024” headline and image of the striker, boldly emblazoned on their 18th July front page, AS insists the Real Madrid roadmap is to sign Haaland within two years. But how can that be at all possible? Well, the report suggests that as part of his contract at Manchester City, there is an “escape clause” that could be activated in 2024, providing Real Madrid are willing to pay €150 million.

Real Madrid supremo denies any interest in Haaland

Regardless of what the headline and subsequent story at AS claims, Real Madrid were apparently never interested and that still remains the case. But most importantly of all, what was the source of their most recent denial? Truthful information doesn’t come any better than directly via the horse’s mouth, as the old saying goes.Real Madrid club president Florentino Pérez explained his thoughts in person, during a lengthy and revealing interview at El Chiringuito de Jugones on Atresmedia, which is the most-viewed football show on Spanish television. Pressed about having missed out on signing Kylian Mbappé by the show’s host Josep Pedrerol, then prodded over stories linking the club with Haaland, the Real Madrid supremo couldn’t have been any clearer with his response.

Pedrerol: “After waiting so much time for Mbappe, could that have impeded going for Haaland?”

Pérez: “No. We didn’t have absolutely anything to do with Haaland. We already have the best centre-forward in the world [Benzema] and at the moment he’s incompatible with Haaland, who is a magnificent player. But we’re not going to bring in Haaland just for him to sit on the bench, right?”

Pedrerol: “But Haaland also has clause in two years?”

Pérez: “I don’t know, honestly. I read about it but nobody has confirmed that’s true.”

Pedrerol: “You haven’t asked?”

Pérez: “No, we’re not interested. We’re building a strong team with the young players we already have, maybe with another reinforcement or two, although we already have a great team.”

The contrasting favouritism of Real Madrid

Undeniably, any story emerging about Real Madrid always captures the imagination. They are the biggest club in world football, after all, which tends to create plenty of interest, therefore much of the gossip surrounding the Spanish giants is rather creative. This means that encountering factual information can often be tricky, whenever stories are embellished for effect and frequently without any identifiable sources.

However, the press favouritism doesn’t seem to extend to their chances of repeated European success. Incredibly, despite being the reigning 2021-22 UEFA Champions League winners, after beating English Premier League sides Manchester City in the semi-finals, then Liverpool in the final, bookmakers are currently pricing Real Madrid as outsiders. Indeed, they are valued at lengthy odds and behind several other clubs, looking at the early betting stakes.

This perhaps highlights why comparing odds is always a good idea, along with seeking advice on how to identify top betting sites, which is where the experts at SBO truly excel. They focus only on the facts, ensuring that all reviewed betting sites are safe and entirely trustworthy, renowned for their overall service, along with underlining where the best value odds and promotions can be located.

While there is little we can do regarding the Spanish penchant for speculation and rumours, we can always use our own good judgement, sifting through the news we read to seek out reliable sources. The same applies whenever we choose where to wager, especially when aided by industry experts, renowned for the quality of their advice. For those of us who wager responsibly, doing a little bit of research always adds to our betting entertainment.

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