In a sudden turn of events, Borussia Dortmund's general director has denied the existence of a €75m release clause in Erling Haaland's contract. Various media outlets have been talking about the said clause for months, which supposedly kicks in next summer. Now, the rug has completely been pulled from under that report.

Hans-Joachim Watzke has flat-out refused to confirm the existence of such a release clause, which has been the basis of many speculations surrounding the Norwegian striker's future.

Haaland was in high demand this summer, but Dortmund had been unwilling to sell and made it clear that they are not welcoming even the most astronomical offers from European giants. However, media hyped up a "release clause" which is now vaguely being reported to be between €75m and €90m. This amount is within reach for many of the most influential clubs, which is why the news has been stirring up more speculations about the player's final decision.

However, Watzke told Spanish publication AS: "I cannot confirm a termination clause exists. More than 90% of our contracts with players don't contain a termination clause." Curiously though, he did not categorically say that Haaland is in fact among the 90% whose contracts do not include such a clause.

Watzke may be trying to come up with the best strategy for next summer, if in fact the clause exists. Dortmund is eager to keep the Norwegian, and they are believed to be preparing to offer him a contract extension that involves a wage increase to €18m per season.

There are a handful of clubs that can afford to match that offer though, especially if the release clause exists. That means that interested suitors will no longer need to pay upwards of €100m in transfer fees.

It has been reported that Haaland wants to dip his toes in La Liga, with his father and his agent visiting both Real Madrid and Barcelona over the summer.

The Catalans won't be able to put up a fight if it comes to a bidding war, and Real Madrid are prioritising Kyliana Mbappe. However, Florentino Perez is interested, and with PSG making it difficult for Mbappe to leave, the Norwegian could be a great alternative.

The 21-year-old has also attracted clubs in the Premier League, but with this recent development, it remains to be seen how many clubs can really afford to make an offer.

Erling Haaland
Erling Braut Haaland celebrates after scoring the opening goal for Borussia Dortmund against Schalke Martin Meissner/POOL