Pep Dismisses Report That Erling Haaland Will Join Real Madrid In 2024

Pep Guardiola has addressed Erling Haaland's 2024 release clause after Manchester City's latest Champions League win.

City scored five at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night as they brushed aside Danish champions Copenhagen, with Haaland grabbing two to take his tally for the season to 19 goals in 12 appearances. Earlier in the day, reports had emerged in Spain that the Norwegian's contract included a clause allowing him to join Real Madrid, which becomes active in the summer of 2024.

Following Wednesday night's win, Guardiola was asked about the clause and shut down any suggestion that Haaland could join Los Blancos.

Guardiola explained as cited by Sports Central: “It's not true. "He has not got a release clause for Real Madrid or any other team. The rumours and people talking, we cannot control it. I always worry about what we can control. “What's important is he has adapted really well, we have the feeling he is happy here. We will try with him and all of them who want to stay to make them happy. “In the future, nobody knows, but he is happy, he has settled perfectly, he is incredibly loved and this is the most important thing.

Haaland only joined City during the summer, arriving from Borussia Dortmund for £51million and signing a five-year deal through to 2027.

He has already scored three Premier League hat-tricks for the club, including his latest treble in Sunday's 6-3 win over rivals Manchester United.

However, he was denied the chance to take home another match ball against Copenhagen, with Guardiola taking him off at half-time and replacing him with youngster Cole Palmer.

Guardiola assured fans that the substitution was not injury-related, though, adding: “He has played a lot of minutes. Of course Cole Palmer is an excellent player, I'm looking forward to him playing. “If the game was tight Erling will continue to play but after that it is better to rest and think about Southampton, a team we were not able to beat last season.”

City return to action on Saturday afternoon, less than three days after playing Copenhagen, with Southampton visiting the Etihad Stadium. Guardiola's side will leapfrog league leaders Arsenal for a day at least if they can continue their unbeaten start to the season.