Football News

“Not true” – Pep Guardiola plays down Erling Haaland Real Madrid release clause rumours

By Harry Edwards

"Not true" - Pep Guardiola plays down Erling Haaland Real Madrid release clause rumours

Published: 15:21, 6 October 2022

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has rubbished claims of Erling Haaland having a Real Madrid-specific release clause in his contract.

Haaland joined Man City in the summer and has immediately pushed down any talks of him needing time to acclimatise to the Premier League, or that his goalscoring prowess was purely due to him playing in the Bundesliga. But he is already top scorer in the Premier League and looks tough to catch.

Erling Haaland news: Does he have a Real Madrid clause?

The Norwegian has scored 14 goals in just eight Premier League matches, smashing various records along the way including for the best ever start to life in the English top flight. Last time out against Manchester United Haaland scored his third hat-trick of the season, having also netted trebles against Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest.

Another Premier League record, three consecutive hat-tricks at home, Haaland has only failed to score against Bournemouth in the league this season – but even then he recorded an assist. Before Haaland joined Man City, the Norwegian was the target of pretty much every club in Europe after his barnstorming time at Borussia Dortmund, and the links won’t be stopping any time soon.

There aren’t too many clubs above Man City in terms of stature and aspirations in the world right now, with Real Madrid being one of them. According to recent reports, Haaland has a clause in his Man City contract that would allow him to leave for Real Madrid in 2024, but Guardiola has quickly shut them down.

Speaking after Man City’s win over FC Copenhagen, Guardiola said: “It’s not true. He has not got a release clause for Real Madrid, or any other team.

“Am I annoyed by the rumours? No, absolutely not. Rumours, and people talking, you cannot control it – so always we have to worry about what we can control.

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“The important thing is that he has adapted [since joining City] really well. I have the feeling he is incredibly happy here, and this is the most important thing.”

Although everyone knew of Haaland’s capabilities from his time at Dortmund and Red Bull Salzburg, the Norwegian appears to have taken his game up a level and people are running out of superlatives for him.

It is a smaller sample size and a true comparison can only be made once the current season is over, but Haaland is currently scoring at a better rate in the Premier League than he did in the Bundesliga in 2021/22, averaging 1.9 per 90 minutes to 1.1.

And it isn’t just the fans in awe, his teammates and opponents are too.

“It’s unbelievable, honestly,” Jack Grealish told BT Sport of his Man City teammate.

“I’ve never witnessed anything like it in my life. For the first and second goals, I was just laughing. He is always there.

“Their keeper said something to me as I was walking back. He said ‘he’s not human!’ I said ‘you’re telling me?’ Hopefully he can carry on this form and take us to glory.”