Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc insisted the Bundesliga club have no plans to sell star Erling Haaland, despite their Champions League hopes fading.
Haaland has emerged as one of Europe’s most sought-after players following his exploits for Dortmund, with Real Madrid, Manchester City, Barcelona, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea all apparently interested.
The 20-year-old reportedly has a €75million (£65m) release clause – valid from 2022 – but there is a view that Dortmund could be forced to cash in on their prized asset due to the team’s Bundesliga struggles.
Dortmund are fifth in the standings and seven points adrift of Eintracht Frankfurt, who occupy the final Champions League qualification place with six matches remaining.
But Zorc – speaking prior to Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final exit at the hands of Manchester City – remains adamant Dortmund will not part with their Norway sensation.
“The fact is, nothing works without our signature,” Zorc told Sky Germany.
“We plan with him, regardless of whether we qualify for the Champions League or not. We had a conversation with him and Erling’s father.
“We have given a clear message that we will continue planning with him. It may be that [agent] Mino [Raiola] sees it differently.”
Haaland was kept scoreless by semi-final bound City midweek, though he has still managed 33 goals and nine assists in 35 appearances across all competitions this season.
Among players in Europe’s top-five leagues, only Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski, Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe have been directly involved in more goals.
Dortmund team-mate Jadon Sancho has also been linked with an exit after Premier League giants United were tipped to sign the England international at the start of the season.
However, Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke made it clear there will be no cut-price sales amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“When COVID-19 struck, we had no debt. Not one euro,” Watzke told BBC Sport. “Because of that, it is a comfortable situation. We do not have to sell a player. That is important.
“The rich clubs in the world, they must know when they want a player from Borussia Dortmund there are two possibilities. The first is that I tell them they have no chance. Other times, I will tell them ‘this is the price’.
“Then they must know this is the price. It is not another price. We are very clear. We are very honest.”