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Dortmund have put a lot of pressure on me, says Norwegian
‘Now is the time to get things started,’ Haaland tells Viaplay
Erling Haaland has hinted he could decide his next move in the coming weeks, and accused Borussia Dortmund of putting pressure on him to make a decision.
In a revealing post-game interview with Jan Åge Fjortoft for Norwegian TV channel Viaplay, Haaland indicated that pressure from within the club means that “things will happen now,” rather than in the summer, with regard to his future.
“The last six months I have chosen not to say anything out of respect for Dortmund, but now the club has started to press me into making a decision,” Haaland said. “All I want to do is play football. But they press me … about my future, so that means I have to make a decision soon.”
When asked if he could decide imminently where he plays next season, Haaland added: “That is what they [Dortmund] want. It means things will happen now. They have started to put a lot of pressure on me, and I have to accept that … so now is the time to get things started.
The Norway international told his compatriot that ideally, he would delay his decision “because we are in the middle of a difficult period, with a lot of games. I have said from the beginning that I want to focus on football, because that is when I am at my best. But I can’t do that now.”
— Viaplay Fotball (@ViaplayFotball) January 14, 2022
The Borussia Dortmund CEO, Hans-Joachim Watzke, was quick to respond to his player’s remarks, downplaying suggestions of a row but failing to deny Haaland’s claims that the club want him to make a decision soon.
“There’s no problem with Erling,” Watzke told Ruhr Nachrichten. “He is a spontaneous person. He’s allowed to do that. But he must also have some understanding for our situation – we can’t wait until the end of May.”
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The 21-year-old is believed to have a €75m release clause in his contract which comes into effect this summer. Haaland’s comments come after his agent, Mino Raiola, said in December that the forward would “take the next step” from Dortmund eventually. Raiola named Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona as potential destinations.
Haaland was speaking after scoring twice for Dortmund as they beat Freiburg 5-1 at Signal Iduna Park. Thomas Meunier also got a double, with Mahmoud Dahoud adding a fifth late on. Marco Rose’s side are three points behind Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich, having played a game more.