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Erling Haaland’s father reveals reason behind striker not joining Real Madrid

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Photo by GEOFF CADDICK/AFP via Getty Images

Erling Haaland was one of the most sought-after players in the market this past summer. From Barcelona to Chelsea to Manchester United to PSG, every big club across Europe were keen on landing the Norwegian international.

Even Real Madrid were drawn into the transfer battle for the ace striker. But, the 22-year-old opted to snub the reigning champions of Spain and Europe, as well as the other interested parties in order to secure a move to Premier League champions Manchester City.

Having joined Pep Guardiola’s juggernaut, Haaland is tearing apart teams in the Premier League and has already scored ten goals in just six games, that includes two stunning hat-tricks.

As mentioned earlier, Haaland was faced with a tough decision in the summer as he had a host of top clubs chasing after him.

Now, his father and former Manchester City star Alf-Inge Haaland has shed some light on the striker’s choice to move to the Etihad Stadium instead of Real Madrid.

Talking in ‘Haaland: The Choice’ documentary for ViaPlay (h/t Sport.fr), Alf-Inge Haaland points to the presence of Karim Benzema and Real Madrid’s pursuit of Kylian Mbappe as the reason behind his son not joining forces with Los Blancos.

“We had established a first criterion which was: ‘who needs a No. 9?’ Manchester City had 10/10 at this level, it was the perfect option,” he said.

“Real, we gave him more of a 5 or a 6 out of 10 because there is the way Karim Benzema currently plays. And we wondered if they were also going to sign Mbappe,” he further added.

Real Madrid not only missed out on Haaland, but they even failed to bring in Mbappe as well, as he performed a last-minute swerve and signed a new contract with Paris Saint-Germain.

Carlo Ancelotti & co. have entered the new season with Karim Benzema as their only natural striker, given that Mariano Diaz is out of favour. They have started well, winning five in five across all competitions, with the latest win coming against Real Betis on Saturday.

As for their search for a striker, while Haaland remains on Real Madrid’s radar for the future, they are also looking at other potential options, including Brazilian wonderkid Endrick.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid defender’s camp asked the club to sign a backup in his position – report

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Photo by ANDER GILLENEA/AFP via Getty Images

The lack of options in the full-back positions at Real Madrid has become a subject of intense debate.

Real Madrid went into the season with Dani Carvajal and Lucas Vazquez as their right-back options while Ferland Mendy was the only left-back at Carlo Ancelotti’s disposal, as David Alaba made it clear that he wished to play as a central defender.

The shortage of quality depth has come to haunt Real Madrid in recent times as both Vazquez and Carvajal have spent time on the sidelines while Mendy has also fallen to an injury recently.

With Alaba also struggling for fitness, Ancelotti has been forced to use Eduardo Camavinga at left-back in the last two matches.

Amidst this, Guillermo Rai of The Athletic is reporting that Mendy has been asked to play in games even when he has not been at 100% fitness on occasions this season by Real Madrid.

Hence, the Frenchman’s entourage had asked the Merengues to sign a backup left-back so that they can rotate more freely and give the defender rest when he is not at 100%.

However, their request was not heeded by the reigning Spanish and European champions, leaving Mendy as the lone left-back in the squad.

But that has changed recently as Real Madrid are understood to have triggered €5 million buyback option on Rayo Vallecano’s Fran Garcia, who will return to the Santiago Bernabeu at the end of the season.

For now, however, Ancelotti will have to cope with just Mendy as his frontline left-back, although Camavinga’s recent performances have shown that he can be relied on in times of emergency.

Nacho, too, is an option, although the Real Madrid cantera has been filling in at right-back in recent weeks and could be needed at centre-back following Eder Militao’s injury against Valencia on Thursday night.

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