Real Madrid are reportedly leading the race to sign Borussia Dortmund striker and Barcelona transfer target Erling Haaland in the summer.

According to SPORT, Real Madrid have stolen a march on arch-rivals Barcelona in the pursuit of Borussia Dortmund and Norway centre-forward Erling Haaland.

The 21-year-old is one of the most in-demand commodities in the transfer market heading into the summer following his exploits with Dortmund over the past two years. Haaland has plundered 80 goals and 21 assists from just 79 matches so far in his time with the Black and Yellows, putting himself on the transfer wishlist of every elite club in Europe.

Manchester United are plotting a summer swoop for the Norwegian international, while Manchester City, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain have all been credited an interest. Along with them, Barcelona too are strongly pursuing the signing of the former RB Salzburg attacker ahead of the summer window.

The Blaugrana are keen on bringing in a top-quality marksman despite signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January, as they look to fill the void left by the departure of Lionel Messi and the sudden retirement of Sergio Aguero. Haaland has been identified as the main target, with president Joan Laporta intent on bringing him to Camp Nou.

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However, Barcelona could now miss out in pursuit of the 21-year-old, as Real Madrid have taken the lead in the race to sign the Borussia Dortmund striker. The La Liga leaders are also in the market for new additions to their attacking unit and are already believed to be closing in on signing Kylian Mbappe from PSG on a free transfer.

But club president Florentino Perez wants to bring in Haaland to the Santiago Bernabeu as he wishes to create a Galactico strikeforce at the club. Real Madrid were believed to have made contact with the striker’s agent, Mino Raiola, earlier this month, and it seems like they have achieved a breakthrough in negotiations.

According to the report, representatives from Real Madrid met with Raiola’s lawyer Rafaela Pimenta and the Norwegian’s father, Alf-Inge Haaland, in Monaco, where they had travelled to hold talks for primary midfield target Aurelien Tchouameni. Having held talks with the Dortmund superstar’s camp, Los Blancos have been able to strike a verbal agreement that gives them an edge over other rivals.

As per the agreement, Haaland will be blocked from negotiating with other clubs, although the final decision over whether he joins Real Madrid will be up to the player. But with Karim Benzem and Vinicius Junior at the club, and Mbappe expected to arrive, it will be interesting to see if the 21-year-old opts to move to the Bernabeu at the end of the season.

Real Madrid will have to shell out at least €75 million to Borussia Dortmund to sign Haaland, although they could offer Luka Jovic as part of the deal to lower the price tag. 

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