The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland’s potential destinations next season.

As the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi and their respective teams stumbled once again in the UEFA Champions League and even in domestic competitions, a change of guard could soon be on the horizon as many young, talented players across Europe being touted as the next big star.

The duo of Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe, are perhaps head and shoulders above the rest, especially after how both the players starred in the recent Champions League matchday.

Mbappe’s hat-trick against Barcelona was truly world-class, but Haaland was not one to be left behind as he ripped apart one of the best defences in Europe, scoring twice in a narrow 3-2 win for Borussia Dortmund over Sevilla on Tuesday.

A recent report from Calciomercato suggests Haaland could be on the agenda of several clubs across Europe this summer, with Manchester United, for one, ready to start a bidding war with Real Madrid and Manchester City. Even Barcelona are still in the fray, especially if they get rid of Lionel Messi while Chelsea are bracing themselves for yet another spending spree – one that could include the Dortmund attacker this summer.

Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will take a closer look at Haaland’s potential suitors next season and figure out who could offer him the best environment to further hone his talents, as the Norwegian international aims to truly become the next big thing in the world of football.

Real Madrid

Is it the right Club?

Real Madrid have lacked a proper goalscorer ever since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo in 2018. Karim Benzema has stepped up well in the absence of the Portuguese sensation, but at the age of 33, the striker is already in the final phase of his career.

The top guy for Real Madrid. (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images)

Benzema is nearing the final phase of his career. (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images)

Los Blancos have also appeared unlucky with the acquisition of Luka Jovic, with the Serbian failing to fire on all cylinders since joining from Eintracht Frankfurt. He recently returned to Waldstadion in an attempt to revive his career but is unlikely to be used much due to the presence of Ronaldo’s international teammate in Andre Silva.

Real Madrid, therefore, should shift attention towards another Bundesliga sensation in Erling Haaland. The Borussia Dortmund forward has attained an incredible scoring record in Germany and in Europe. And his performance against Sevilla was enough to indicate his ability to rip through opposition defences, using his pace and physicality, even against the technically astute Spanish sides.

However, Zinedine Zidane may not be the best coach for someone like Haaland. The Frenchman has often misused offensive players in the past, and given his record in dealing with stars like Gareth Bale, Mariano Diaz and Jovic, a move to Santiago Bernabeu could spell trouble for the former Molde starlet.

Approval rating: 6/10

Assessing the transfer situation

Like many other clubs across Europe, Real Madrid have been hit hard by the pandemic. The club has had massive losses due to a sharp decline in tourism, lack of matchday revenue and an overall decline in viewership. As such, they have been forced to offload quite a few star players including James Rodriguez while the likes of Martin Odegaard, Gareth Bale and Luka Jovic have been loaned out.

Los Blancos are also tipped a few more star players in the summer, a list that could potentially include Sergio Ramos, while the likes of Isco, Dani Ceballos and Bale are almost guaranteed to head towards the exit door. It could, though, open up the opportunity for Real Madrid to balance the books and fund a move for at least one star player this summer, with Haaland appearing to be a glaring possibility.

Transfer likeliness: 7/10

Manchester United

Is it the right Club?

Manchester United will be keen on securing the services of a new striker, even though Edinson Cavani’s contract is likely to be extended by another year while they also have Anthony Martial, although the Frenchman is certainly not the most consistent forwards in the Premier League.

While other attackers like Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford are undoubtedly blessed with a lot of potential, there is a lack of robustness in the Red Devils attack and that is where Erling Haaland could be an ideal buy.

Premier League 2020/21 mid-season review: Manchester United

The Norwegian international often thrives when he is given an ample amount of supply and there should be no shortage of that if joins Manchester United. Indeed, the creative trifecta of Martial, Rashford and Bruno Fernandes are sure to make life easier for the Borussia Dortmund wunderkind.

His robust style of play should also tune in well with the Premier League – making Old Trafford an ideal destination for Haaland.

Approval rating: 8/10

Assessing the transfer situation

Haaland’s potential transfer situation at Manchester United is a bit tricky one, as there are a lot of points worth considering. For one, the striker shares an excellent relationship with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who had coached him during their time together at Molde. He was, in fact, integral to the striker’s initial rise to prominence in Norway.

However, his father, Alf-Inge Haaland, who almost plays the role of a partial agent, might not prefer a move to Old Trafford. During his playing days, Alfie, a former Leeds United star, was involved in several heated moments against the Red Devils including the infamous confrontation with Roy Keane.

Haaland himself is born in Leeds while employing Mino Raiola as his agent. The expressive Italian has a rocky relationship with Manchester United, which could hinder the club’s pursuit of the Borussia Dortmund youngster.

Transfer likeliness: 6/10

Chelsea

Is it the right Club?

Timo Werner has been quite a disappointment at Stamford Bridge following his big-money move from RB Leipzig last summer. Although the German has continued to play a key role in the Chelsea first-team, the lack of productivity has forced the club to once again rely on the services of the incredibly inconsistent Tammy Abraham.

Thomas Tuchel, therefore, will be hoping for attacking reinforcements in the summer and there are very few better options available than Erling Haaland.

The ex-Dortmund coach hasn’t managed Haaland during his managerial career, but he was in charge of the PSG side who felt the brunt of the Norwegian’s attacking prowess when the two teams met in the knockout rounds of the Champions League last season.

Haaland may have to face competition from Werner at Chelsea, although Tuchel is likely to find a way to accommodate them into the same lineup. And while it does associate a lot of risks, Stamford Bridge might not necessarily be an awful destination for the Dortmund striker.

Premier League 2020/21 Mid-Season Review: Chelsea

Approval rating: 7/10

Assessing the transfer situation

Unlike other clubs on this list, Chelsea face a serious threat of potentially missing out on Champions League football next season, which makes things difficult for them, in regards to their pursuit of Haaland.

However, a recent report from Tuttomercatoweb suggests that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is set to splash an outstanding €300 million for new transfers this summer, with Haaland reportedly topping his list.

The Blues’ spending prowess was already noticeable last summer when they forked out €250 million to secure many top quality players. Haaland, though, is not like other top players and may look for more prospects rather than money – something Chelsea may not be able to offer as much as some of the other clubs on this list.

Transfer likeliness: 6/10

FC Barcelona

Is it the right Club?

Barcelona have been haunted by mediocrity over the past couple of seasons. The club’s constant failures in landing any European prize has unsurprisingly raised questions over the future of Lionel Messi, with his current contract at Camp Nou expiring at the end of the campaign.

It calls for a change of guard – making Haaland one of the potential options. Although the Norwegian is not a like for like replacement for Messi, his presence in the side should drastically improve the club’s productivity – something that has eluded them ever since the decline and the eventual departure of Luis Suarez.

For Haaland, a move to the prestigious Camp Nou could be a start of a potential legacy as he looks to restore the club’s lost glory. He also shouldn’t find any particular difficulties in getting regular game-time – making Catalunya a fairly appealing destination for the forward.

Approval rating: 9/10

Assessing the transfer situation

While Barcelona certain present themselves as an attractive option for Haaland, they do lack the finances to sanction a potential move for the Borussia Dortmund starlet. The club’s growing debts, combined with major losses registered during the pandemic have left them crippled in the transfer market.

Barcelona: A gargantuan club in crisis

As such, the Catalans have mainly pursued soon-to-be free agents like Memphis Depay or Eric Garcia. The looming presidential election could go a long way in shaping the fate of the club but also the outcome of their pursuit of Haaland.

The potential departure of Messi could go a long way in freeing up the funds for the Spanish giants but their debts, combined with the need for a massive revamp in the squad makes them mere outsiders in the race to sign the Bundesliga sensation this summer.

Transfer likeliness: 4/10

Manchester City

Is it the right Club?

The likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United are all historic clubs in their own right, with a heritage anyone can be proud of. However, it is Manchester City and their seemingly increasing footballing empire that could make a profound case for grasping Haaland in the summer.

Coached by the highly successive Pep Guardiola, the Sky Blues are currently in the market for a new striker due to the impending departure of Sergio Aguero. Although they do have Gabriel Jesus, it appears Guardiola has set his sights on a more productive forward, with the Brazilian playing in a supporting cast.

It makes Haaland an attractive option for the Catalan mastermind. The 20-year-old has the unique combination of pace and physicality, as well as the smart positioning sense that tunes in well Guardiola’s style of play.

Guardiola & co. will be looking to bounce back after FA Cup exit (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Is Guardiola the ideal coach for Haaland? (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

A move to Etihad is an interesting proposition for the player himself as his father used to play for Manchester City during the early 21st century. From a sporting sense, he could thrive under the leadership of a prominent leader like Guardiola, despite the apparent competition from Gabriel.

Approval rating: 9/10

Assessing the transfer situation

Unlike Real Madrid and Barcelona, Manchester City should find no problems funding a move for Haaland, thanks to the huge financial advantages associated with the Premier League, combined with the backing of the Arab overlords.

Although the Citizens may still need to offload a few players in order to avoid the wrath of the UEFA Financial Fair Play regulations, it is something the team could easily manage.

The only potential drawback from their pursuit of Haaland is the club’s stature which certainly pales in comparison to other interested parties. So it will be interesting to see what the future holds for the Borussia Dortmund striker as well as the Premier League leaders in this upcoming summer transfer window.

Transfer likeliness: 9/10

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