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Man City Handed Potential Blow in Pursuit of Star Forward Following Club Chief's Claim on Interest From Spain

Borussia Dortmund CEO Aki Watzke has admitted that Real Madrid hold a strong interest in signing Erling Haaland, who has been heavily linked with a big-money switch to Manchester City in 2022.

The Premier League champions have been linked with a move for the 21-year-old marksman for several months, as they try and acquire the services of a top centre-forward to replace Sergio Aguero, who signed for Barcelona in June.

After failing to secure the arrival of Tottenham talisman Harry Kane in the summer, Pep Guardiola's side are seeking to defend their league crown and possibly go one step further in the Champions League without an out-and-out striker among their ranks.

It was reported in October that the Sky Blues are 'ready' to sign Haaland when his £64 million release clause kicks in next summer, with the Manchester side 'planning meetings' with the striker's agent Mino Raiola in January.

Moreover, it emerged recently that there is a 90% chance of Haaland leaving Borussia Dortmund in the summer, with a series of elite European sides understood to be keen to land the Leeds-born striker.

However, Borussia Dortmund CEO Aki Watzke's recent comments could mean that Haaland could be set for a move to Spain despite interest from the Premier League. "In general, we’re hoping he (Haaland) stays," said Watzke in a recent interview, as quoted by Patrick Berger of SPORT1.

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"I know that all European top clubs want him (Haaland), especially Real Madrid. The big interest of Real is confirmed. I think someday, the Spanish league would fit better to him than the English (Premier League)."

It has been stated previously that Manchester City want to improve their ties with Mino Raiola as they try and plot a move for Haaland, who desires to move to the England in the hunt for a new challenge after having emerged as one of the finest finishers in the world since joining Dortmund in 2020.

City had recently emerged as one of the leading contenders to lure Haaland from Dortmund owing to their ties with Puma, who are set to tempt the Norway international with a sensational sponsorship package of £50 million over a period of four years.

Moreover, it has been stated that Raiola is set to hold talks with the Etihad hierarchy in January over a possible switch to the east side of Manchester for Haaland, whose father Alfie, is good friends with Bjorn Gulden - Norwegian chief executive of Puma.

Manchester City will have been given an added incentive to get a deal for Haaland over the line with the rising number of reports linking Ferran Torres with a January move to Barcelona.

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