Real Madrid are not looking to sign Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland due to the high commission being demanded by his agent Mino Raiola, Eurosport has learnt, but are feigning interest to drive up the striker's price.
Raiola was in Barcelona last week, along with the Norwegian's father Alf-Inge for talks with the Catalan club about a summer move for the young striker, who has become one of the most coveted players in world football due to his superb form since moving to Germany.
It was subsequently reported that he visited Real Madrid, while the Manchester Evening News has claimed that he will have talks with Manchester City, his father's former club, and United, where his childhood mentor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is the manager.
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However, Eurosport can reveal that Real Madrid have lost patience with Raiola after several botched attempts to sign his players over the years, such as Paul Pogba and Gianluigi Donnarumma.
When trying to sign Pogba, Raiola demanded a €30 million commission for the Frenchman's signature in a late stage of the negotiations, when an agreement had almost been reached, while the Italian goalkeeper's demands were so high that even Real baulked at the figures.
Real representative Jose Angel Sanchez and head of scouting Juni Calafat were dispatched for talks with the Dutchman while he was in Spain.
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However, this was to mutual benefit. There is no real desire from the club to lure Haaland to the Spanish capital, but talks with Real could drive up the price Barcelona would have to pay for him.
Instead, Real are looking to sign Kylian Mbappe, the Paris Saint-Germain star and Haaland's presumptive rival for Ballons d'Or for years to come.
Zidane and Real president Florentino Perez are fully aware that devoting too much time to pursuing Haaland could cost them in their bid to sign the France World Cup winner.
With Barcelona bidding to keep Lionel Messi at the club following his botched attempt to leave last summer, they are hoping that winning the race for Haaland will convince the Argentine to stay put.
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