Erling Haaland: ‘It’s a decision for Erling,’ Borussia Dortmund CEO says of striker’s impending departure transfer

Read Time:3 Minute, 44 Second

Multiple UK media outlets have reported that Manchester City will likely announce in the coming week that it has agreed a deal with Borussia Dortmund for the striker’s services.
Haaland’s brute force, blistering pace and devastating finishing ability have made him one of the most sought-after players in the world, meaning Dortmund has been resigned to losing its star player ever since signing him in 2020.

While many clubs would understandably be frustrated at constantly losing out to those higher in the pecking order, the inevitably of the transfers make them much easier to manage, Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke says.

“That’s the only way for us because when a player performs very well, we have to fight against the big, big, big clubs with the oligarchs and the Arabian states at their back,” Watzke tells CNN Senior Sport Analyst Darren Lewis.

“And this fight we cannot win, but we can win a fight over an 18-year-old player, like Jude Bellingham, because this player loves to play at Borussia Dortmund because we have always 80,000 spectators, it’s a very good atmosphere and the club knows how to manage young players.

“That’s our way and, okay, we have a good department who are scouting young players every day, but it’s also very important if you have the player here, you must develop him and I think that works … most of the time, it works.”

Watzke is under no illusions about where Dortmund stands in the hierarchy of modern football.

The club has nurtured — and then sold — many of Europe’s biggest and most expensive stars of recent years; Robert Lewandowski, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Jadon Sancho, Mario Götze, Mats Hummels, Ousmane Dembélé and Christian Pulisic are among the players to have worn the famous black and yellow shirts.

READ: Meet Otto Addo, the coach responsible for guiding some of Europe’s brightest young footballers
Mats Hummels (C) and Robert Lewandowski (L) are some of the stars to have been nurtured by Dortmund.

While Watzke understands that a high player turnover is part of the business, there is still a human being behind a transfer fee, and on certain occasions, waving goodbye is harder than others.

“Sometimes, it’s a little bit more emotional,” Watzke admits. “It was very emotional for me when Mats Hummels told me in 2016 that he will leave the club after I think seven or eight years because it was a long period and we had a very special relationship.

“But sometimes, players are at Borussia Dortmund for one, two, three years, and in this period, it’s not so deep with the emotions and it’s normal in football that players come, players go and if they want to go, OK.

“Sometimes, it’s a good deal; sometimes, it’s not so good. When we sold Ousmane Dembélé to Barcelona after a short period, it was a very good deal. When Robert Lewandowski left us without transfer fee, it was not a good deal, but that’s football.”

It would seem now that Haaland is next up to leave the club.

The 21-year-old has scored a remarkable 85 goals in 88 games since joining from RB Salzburg in 2020, breaking numerous Bundesliga and Champions League records along the way.

Erling Haaland has broken numerous goalscoring records since moving to Dortmund.

Manchester City looks set to meet Haaland’s reported release clause of €75 million ($79 million) — a veritable bargain given his talents and the current transfer fee climate — and beat a number of Europe’s biggest clubs to his signature, including Real Madrid, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain.

On the day of CNN’s interview with Watzke (April 26), the Dortmund CEO admitted he didn’t know whether Haaland would leave during the European summer transfer window. What he did know for sure, however, was if Haaland did leave, Dortmund will continue competing as it always has done.

“It’s a decision for Erling,” Watzke said. “Erling, you know, has an exit clause and he must decide if we want to take this exit clause or not and he has time to give us his decision. When the time is ready , he will do it.

“But we [Dortmund] have played football for 113 years, and for 111 years, we played without Erling Haaland. We had Robert Lewandowski and then he left us in 2014, but we played football in ’15, ’16, ’17 until now.

“Then next came Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and then Erling Haaland and you can be sure if Erling takes a decision to leave us, we will find the next [player] 100% percent.”

To know more about your favorite sport go to sports news

0 %
0 %
0 %
0 %
0 %
0 %
We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. View more
Cookies settings
Privacy & Cookie policy
Privacy & Cookies policy
Cookie name Active

Who we are

Suggested text: Our website address is:


Suggested text: When visitors leave comments on the site we collect the data shown in the comments form, and also the visitor’s IP address and browser user agent string to help spam detection. An anonymized string created from your email address (also called a hash) may be provided to the Gravatar service to see if you are using it. The Gravatar service privacy policy is available here: After approval of your comment, your profile picture is visible to the public in the context of your comment.


Suggested text: If you upload images to the website, you should avoid uploading images with embedded location data (EXIF GPS) included. Visitors to the website can download and extract any location data from images on the website.


Suggested text: If you leave a comment on our site you may opt-in to saving your name, email address and website in cookies. These are for your convenience so that you do not have to fill in your details again when you leave another comment. These cookies will last for one year. If you visit our login page, we will set a temporary cookie to determine if your browser accepts cookies. This cookie contains no personal data and is discarded when you close your browser. When you log in, we will also set up several cookies to save your login information and your screen display choices. Login cookies last for two days, and screen options cookies last for a year. If you select "Remember Me", your login will persist for two weeks. If you log out of your account, the login cookies will be removed. If you edit or publish an article, an additional cookie will be saved in your browser. This cookie includes no personal data and simply indicates the post ID of the article you just edited. It expires after 1 day.

Embedded content from other websites

Suggested text: Articles on this site may include embedded content (e.g. videos, images, articles, etc.). Embedded content from other websites behaves in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited the other website. These websites may collect data about you, use cookies, embed additional third-party tracking, and monitor your interaction with that embedded content, including tracking your interaction with the embedded content if you have an account and are logged in to that website.

Who we share your data with

Suggested text: If you request a password reset, your IP address will be included in the reset email.

How long we retain your data

Suggested text: If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained indefinitely. This is so we can recognize and approve any follow-up comments automatically instead of holding them in a moderation queue. For users that register on our website (if any), we also store the personal information they provide in their user profile. All users can see, edit, or delete their personal information at any time (except they cannot change their username). Website administrators can also see and edit that information.

What rights you have over your data

Suggested text: If you have an account on this site, or have left comments, you can request to receive an exported file of the personal data we hold about you, including any data you have provided to us. You can also request that we erase any personal data we hold about you. This does not include any data we are obliged to keep for administrative, legal, or security purposes.

Where we send your data

Suggested text: Visitor comments may be checked through an automated spam detection service.
Save settings
Cookies settings