Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola denies rumours of Real Madrid clause for Erling Haaland


After overseeing his team’s comprehensive 5-0 win over FC Copenhagen in the Champions League on Wednesday, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola denied the rumours about the alleged release clause in Erling Haaland’s contract.

Haaland scored twice against the Danish side, but earlier that day, reports in Spain spoke of a ‘special clause’ in Haaland’s contract with City that would enable Real Madrid to have a ‘free run’ at signing the Norwegian striker in 2024.

When asked about it in his post-match press conference, Guardiola was very clear.

“It’s not true,” the Catalan tactician said. “He has not got a release clause for Real Madrid or any other team.”

“The rumours and people talking, we cannot control it. I always worry about what we can control.

“What’s important is he has adapted really well, we have the feeling he is happy here. We will try with him and all of them who want to stay to make them happy.

“In the future, nobody knows, but he is happy, he has settled perfectly, he is incredibly loved and this is the most important thing.”

Such was City’s dominance over Copenhagen that Guardiola felt at liberty to withdraw Haaland at halftime, sending young Cole Palmer out for the second half instead. He later explained that the change wasn’t in the initial plans for the match, but the comfortable lead at the break allowed for the sensational striker to preserve some of his energy for the upcoming busy schedule.

Haaland has so far scored 19 goals in 12 matches in all competitions for City – truly incredible numbers.