Dortmund’s Haaland fit for Sevilla clash
March 08 2021 10:20 PM
Erling Braut Haaland
Erling Braut Haaland trains on the eve of the Champions League last 16 match against Sevilla in Dortmund, western Germany, yesterday. (AFP)

AFP/Dortmund, Germany

Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Braut Haaland will be available for today’s Champions League last 16, second leg at home to Sevilla, coach Edin Terzic said on the eve of the game. Haaland, 20, who has scored 29 goals in 28 games this season, had been a doubt after leaving the pitch on the hour mark of Saturday’s Bundesliga loss at Bayern Munich.
“Erling is doing well, he was on the field this morning, we assume he’ll be there tomorrow,” Terzic said, with his side holding a 3-2 advantage from the first leg in Spain. Dortmund will be without England attacker Jadon Sancho after he suffered a muscle injury in last Tuesday’s German Cup quarter-final win over Borussia Moenchengladbach.
“Jadon will not be at our disposal for the weeks to come,” Terzic said. Portugal’s Raphael Guerreiro and teenage midfielder Giovanni Reyna remain injury doubts. “For them it’s a question of days. We’ll see... what they’re like on Tuesday at training, to see if they can play the match,” Terzic said.
Meanwhile, Dortmund do not expect “crazy things to happen” this summer despite a host of Europe’s biggest clubs reported to be queueing up to try and sign Haaland. The Norwegian became the first player to reach 10 Champions League goals in just seven games for a single club when he netted twice in Dortmund’s 3-2 win at Sevilla in the last 16, first leg.
The German side have often relied this season on the 20-year-old Haaland. There is reportedly a release clause in his contract which applies from the summer of 2022 for around 105mn euros ($125mn). But Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke said weekend he does not expect “crazy things to happen” in the transfer market after this season.
But if and when Haaland leaves, Dortmund stand to make at least five times the 20mn euros they paid Salzburg for his services in January 2020. And Watzke did not rule out losing either Haaland or England winger Jadon Sancho if “extraordinary things happen”.
Haaland has scored eight goals in just five Champions League appearances this season to take his career tally in the competition to 18 in 13 games for Dortmund and Salzburg. He netted two early goals at Bayern Munich on Saturday before the club world champions fought back to claim a 4-2 win as Robert Lewandowski scored a hat-trick.
His record of 29 goals in 28 games this season has unsurprisingly attracted the attention of Europe’s top teams. “Only a maximum of 10 clubs can afford to buy him and give him the platform he wants after his time in Dortmund,” Haaland’s agent Mino Raiola said recently.
Real Madrid and Chelsea are reportedly at the head of the queue, eager to buy Haaland out of his contract, which expires in June 2024. According to German magazine Sport Bild, Haaland admires Real, who are seeking a replacement for Karim Benzema, 33, whose contract expires next year, although the La Liga champions have long been linked with France star Kylian Mbappe.
Manchester City, owned by Sheikh Mansour, have the financial clout to sign Haaland, with their first-choice striker Sergio Aguero out of contract in June, and plagued by injuries this season. A move to the Etihad Stadium would see the Leeds-born striker follow in the footsteps of his father Alf-Inge Haaland, who played for City from 2000-03.
Even Bayern have expressed interest in Haaland as a potential replacement for Lewandowski. “Lots and lots of things are possible, you can’t rule anything out,” Bayern coach Hansi Flick said Saturday when asked about signing Haaland. “But that is something for the future. He has a long-term contract at Dortmund and a lot of clubs come into play.”
It could be that Haaland is not the only star to leave Dortmund this year, as Sancho has been targeted by Manchester United in previous transfer windows. Like Haaland, fleet-footed Sancho has a market value of around 100mn euros.
According to reports, Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel wants to buy both Haaland and Sancho, having been given a transfer budget of 260mn euros by Blues owner Roman Abramovich. Clubs are counting the cost of the coronavirus pandemic, but as Watzke points out, the biggest teams have wealthy owners who “find ways and means to pump money into them”.

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