Pep Guardiola says there is no truth to the report that there is a termination clause in Erling Haaland’s contract which will trigger a possible move to Real Madrid.
“It’s not true, he doesn’t have a specific release clause for Real Madrid or any other team. It’s not true, what can I say? I have the feeling he’s incredibly happy here.”
Guardiola made the clarification in his post-match press conference after watching Haaland scored twice in the 5-0 demolition of FC Copenhagen Wednesday evening in the Cityzens’ Champions League group game at the Etihad stadium.
The Norwegian scored twice in the game to become only the third player to score in each of his first three UEFA Champions League appearances for an English club, after Marouane Chamakh for Arsenal and Ferran Torres for Man City.
According to Opta Joe, Haaland has now scored 28 goals in 22 appearances in the UEFA Champions League, a goals per game record of 1.27; there are 98 teams with a worse goals per game record than him in the competition.
The 22 year old has been directly involved in 41 goals in his last 23 appearances in home games at club level (35 goals, 6 assists) since failing to score or assist against Manchester City in April for Borussia Dortmund.
Meanwhile, Guardiola has explained why he has replaced the Norwegian striker during the game against Copenhagen.
“He plays a lot of minutes, the game was under control and Cole Palmer is an excellent player and he really wanted to play. If the game had been tight, Erling would have continued.”
Haaland left the field of play at half-time after scoring two goals, but the Spanish coach says it’s not to give him rest: “It’s not about giving the players rest. We have a squad of 20 players, if you play with only 11, You don’t have 20 players. The others, when you need them, don’t work.”