Dortmund to wait on Haaland’s fitness for German Cup final

Berlin (AFP) – Borussia Dortmund must wait to see whether star striker Erling Braut Haaland will be fit to play in Thursday’s German Cup final against RB Leipzig.

Dortmund coach Edin Terzic hopes to include him at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium after deep bruising sidelined Haaland for the last two matches, including a 3-2 home league win against Leipzig in last Saturday’s cup final rehearsal.

Haaland has scored 37 goals in 38 games for Dortmund this season in all competitions.

The 20-year-old spurned a day off on Monday for extra treatment and trained with the Dortmund squad on Tuesday, then took part in Wednesday’s final session in Berlin. 

“Haaland looked quite decent. We didn’t put him under full pressure, we just tested him,” said Terzic.

“We want to see how he reacts after today’s training.”

Dortmund have scored eight goals in their last two games without Haaland, who is eager to win his first title with Dortmund.

“Every footballer dreams of winning titles – I feel the same way,” Haaland told Wednesday’s edition of German daily Bild.

“And our fans really deserve to celebrate something in these difficult times too,” he added with the final played behind closed doors for the second year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“But Leipzig will be a very tough opponent.”

Haaland is under contract until 2024, but a reported exit clause — for 75 million euros ($90 million) — becomes active in 2022.

His agent has speculated Haaland could leave at the end of the season, especially if Dortmund, who are currently fourth in the Bundesliga table, miss out on Champions League qualification.

Bayern Munich board member Oliver Kahn has told magazine Sport Bild that making a bid for Haaland of “more than 100 million euros is currently unthinkable for FC Bayern”.

In the Berlin cup final, Red Bull-backed RB Leipzig, who were only founded in 2009, can win the first major title in the club’s fledgling history.

Julian Nagelsmann, 33, who is leaving after two years as Leipzig coach to take the helm at Bayern Munich next season, is hoping to sign off with the first senior title of his coaching career.

Leipzig will be without injured US midfielder Tyler Adams and left-back Angelinho.

“I’d be very happy if I could leave Leipzig having won the German Cup and the last two (remaining) Bundesliga games,” Nagelsmann said Wednesday.

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