Spanish giants Real Madrid have reportedly called off their pursuit of Erling Haaland, a target for Barcelona, with Kylian Mbappe their priority.

According to a report by Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo, Real Madrid’s pursuit of Erling Haaland has come to a grinding halt, with Kylian Mbappe their priority for the summer transfer window. The Borussia Dortmund striker is also a target for arch-rivals Barcelona.

Erling Haaland has taken no time to establish himself as one of the best strikers in the game. The 21-year-old only started becoming a household name in Europe in the first half of the 2019/20 season, scoring goals for fun for Red Bull Salzburg. The Norwegian prodigy joined Borussia Dortmund in January 2020 and has stepped up several notches.

The 21-year-old has an excellent record of 78 goals and 21 assists in 77 appearances for Borussia Dortmund, and he has been going toe to toe with Robert Lewandowski in the Bundesliga. Suffice to say, Haaland can slot into every club in the world seamlessly, with Real Madrid and Barcelona waging a transfer battle to secure his services.

Real Madrid’s interest in Haaland is long-running, and the Merengues had attempted to sign the youngster before he joined Borussia Dortmund. The continued eagerness to secure the player’s services stems from Karim Benzema’s advancing years. While the Frenchman has been in the form of his life, it is worth noting that he is 34 years old.

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Laying down a succession plan for Benzema is thus imperative for Real Madrid, with Haaland a key target, as per widespread reports. Recent speculations have also claimed that the 21-year-old prefers joining Real Madrid. But arch-rivals Barcelona are also in contention to sign the Norwegian striker from Borussia Dortmund.

Recent reports have claimed that the Catalan giants are in talks over a summer move. Barcelona’s need to sign a striker is urgent, especially following Sergio Aguero’s premature retirement. With Martin Braithwaite and Luuk de Jong facing uncertain futures at Camp Nou, Barcelona might need to sign multiple strikers, with Haaland likely to become their primary option.

The latest development hands Barcelona a major boost in his pursuit, as the report by Mundo Deportivo claims that Real Madrid’s interest in him has cooled. It is unclear whether Real Madrid will end their interest in Haaland for good, but Kylian Mbappe is their priority for now.

With recent reports claiming that Mbappe is negotiating a contract with Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid will need to step up to land the Frenchman on a free transfer. Barcelona could thus have a clear run at Haaland as things stand, with Real Madrid’s attention going elsewhere. However, it is ambiguous how they will fund the transfer amid their financial crisis.

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