Ruud Gullit has backed Real Madrid’s pursuit of Erling Haaland, claiming they are the only Spanish club that can sign the Norwegian goal machine.

In an interview with German publication Bild, Ruud Gullit has had his say about the transfer saga surrounding Erling Haaland. The Dutch legend has claimed that Real Madrid might be the only Spanish club capable of signing the Borussia Dortmund goal machine while tipping England – Manchester City, in particular – to be his next destination.

Erling Haaland has gone from strength to strength since his breakthrough campaign at club level in the 2019/20 season. After a blistering first half of that term with Red Bull Salzburg, the Norwegian striker joined Borussia Dortmund in January 2020 and has transformed into a goal machine since then.

The 21-year-old’s record at Borussia Dortmund is simply astounding, amassing 80 goals and 21 assists in 79 appearances. But the Bundesliga giants could lose Haaland in the summer transfer window when several high profile clubs across Europe will be vying for his signature. Real Madrid and Manchester City are two of his major suitors.

Real Madrid attempted to sign Haaland before he joined Dortmund, and their interest has grown further in the last two years. With Karim Benzema in the twilight of his career, the young striker has emerged as the ideal player to succeed the Frenchman at the Santiago Bernabeu.

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On the other hand, Manchester City’s interest in Haaland stems from the absence of a natural striker following Sergio Aguero’s departure last summer. While Gabriel Jesus is a striker by trade, he has largely been deployed out wide by Pep Guardiola, thereby necessitating the arrival of a centre-forward, with Haaland emerging as a target. Now Ruud Gullit has had his say on the Haaland saga.

“I see him in England,” said Gullit. “But I don’t think he’ll go to Manchester United. [Manchester] City would be good for him with Pep Guardiola but Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool would also be great. What Jurgen has done with that club is incredible. You just have to praise him, he’s always hungry. That suits Haaland, it’s his style. In Spain, only Real Madrid is an option. Those are the three clubs that will compete for Erling.”

Widespread reports have claimed that a release clause in Haaland’s contract will activate in the summer transfer window. A transfer battle could thus ensue for the 21-year-old, with Real Madrid, whose interest has already been confirmed by Borussia Dortmund, and Manchester City expected to be two of his suitors.

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