Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has dismissed claims that superstar striker Erling Haaland has a special release clause for Real Madrid. Earlier reports out of Spain suggested that Los Blancos have a specific option to sign the forward before any other team.

Guardiola rejected these claims following his team’s 5-0 demolition of Copenhagen on Wednesday. “It’s not true,” the manager said. “He has no release clause for Real Madrid or any other team. It’s not true, what can I say?”

“I have the feeling he is incredibly happy here and we will try to make him happy,” continued Guardiola. “You cannot worry about the rumors, we have to worry about what we can control.”

These Spanish rumors may be wide of the mark. Even then, there is a release clause in Haaland’s current contract circling the tabloids. These claims determined any team can sign the Norwegian in 2024 for about $196 million. The clause lowers to about $146 million a year later.

Guardiola’s suggestions about a specific team not having a first refusal doesn’t not necessarily mean that there is no release clause. However, if these reports are true, any club can trigger the stipulation.

Erling Haaland with a future at Real Madrid

Alfie Haaland, Erling’s father, recently stated that his son could depart Manchester after a few seasons. “I think Erling wants to prove his abilities in all leagues,” said Alfie. “He could be, for example, two-and-a-half years in Germany, two-and-a-half years in England and then in Spain, Italy, France, right?”

The elder Haaland’s statements would potentially line up with the reported release clause.

Erling Haaland only arrived in Manchester City this summer. It hasn’t, however, taken the striker long to adjust to the new league. The Norway international already has 14 goals in just 8 Premier League matches. Including Champions League games, Haaland has managed 19 goals in 11 total games on the season.

There will most likely be a plethora of clubs lining up to sign Haaland if his release clause is met in the near future. Although Real Madrid do not have priority, they could still be a possible destination for the superstar.

PHOTO: IMAGO / Colorsport