Erling Haaland could leave Manchester City in a search for personal accolades after Lionel Messi has convinced the striker to head down a different path according to reports.
Haaland has been at City since the summer of 2022, where he joined for a rather modest fee in today’s economic climate of £51m from Borussia Dortmund.
He is contracted to the Premier League champions until 2027 but it’s claimed that his deal contains a £170 million release clause.
The clause becomes active in the summer butASsays that non-English clubs such as Real Madrid would only have to pay £86 million.
The Norwegian forward took to his new surroundings like a duck to water obliterating the Premier League goal record at his first attempt, scoring 36 goals in 35 appearances.
Manchester City also added to Haaland’s success by becoming only the second British team to win the coveted treble of the Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League, equalling Manchester United’s 1999 achievement.
The 23-year-old is currently still the Premier League’s top goalscorer this season, despite not featuring for City since the 6th of December, but he is expected to return to the matchday squad this evening against Burnley.
Whilst it may seem there is no better place for Haaland on a surface level, reports have emerged suggesting the Norwegian has made the decision to leave Manchester City.
According todiarioas: “Erling Haaland is now convinced that he must join Real Madrid to win individual awards, the FIFA Best award given to Leo Messi has opened his eyes.”
Despite literally winning everything he could have possibly won in 2023 and being his club’s landslide top scorer throughout the season, Haaland was snubbed for both the Ballon d’Or and the FIFA Best award.
Lionel Messi won both awards, finishing ahead of Haaland and Kylian Mbappe.
Messi’s victories were reportedly the moment of clarity for Haaland that if he was to be individually recognised for his abilities, he might need a different stage to shine.
Out of the last four players to win the Ballon d’Or, three of them have been playing for Real Madrid, so the Bernabeu could be the perfect place for Haaland to showcase his skills.
It could be argued that Haaland would be a sore loser if he were to completely change the trajectory of his career over the snub. But it is hard to dispute the City striker could have done much more to deserve the prize, whilst Messi endured a rather quiet season which saw him leave PSG for the MLS where he scored just one goal.