As one of the most forward thinking development clubs in Europe, Borussia Dortmund have built a strong record of giving young players a chance. That reputation is why they can consistently snare talent like Jude Bellingham, Jadon Sancho, and Erling Haaland ahead of more traditional giants. Backed with a world-class support and a scouting and recruitment network the envy of the continent, it is not hard for BVB to convince players to join them.

Already, they look set to sign young talent like Karem Adeyemi from under the noses of other giants. The promise of game time in a tremendous league in front of 80,000-plus fans is an easy sell. What is not so easy to sell, though, is the players sticking around for more than a couple of seasons.

In his third season in Germany, Erling Haaland has long been linked with an exit from the club since his arrival. The likes of Manchester duo City and United, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, and even domestic rivals FC Bayern have expressed intrigue in buying the Norwegian forward. However, so far, Dortmund have resisted any options to sell.

Rumours of a €75m buyout fee that comes into action in 2022 has had many of the top clubs in Europe excited. Dortmund, though, have been non-committal in confirming whether or not the clause even exists. The exit from the UEFA Champions League was a huge blow, though, and it has seen many question if BVB would be keen to sell to balance the books as early as January 2022.

However, current Director of Football Michael Zorc – the clubs appearance holder – was keen to make clear that there is no desire, or need, to sell the player in January.

What did Michael Zorc say about Erling Haaland?

In a recent interview with publication Sport1, Zorc was quoted as saying: “The fact is that we have a contract. But it is also a fact, and it’s no secret, that he can leave the club under certain conditions. It is clear that we fundamentally want Erling to stay beyond the summer. And by the way, despite the pandemic, we have no economic need to sell. That is also a fact.”

That rules out the need to sell, but it also does not rule out that the player will want to leave. Haaland has been clear that he intends to win many trophies in his career. Helping BVB to lift a second DFB-Pokal of the post-Jurgen Klopp era was an achievement in itself. However, a match-up with FC Bayern at home this weekend could see BVB either fall four points behind, remain a point behind, or go clear at the top of the table.

This could be a statement moment for the club as they try to recover from a rocky start under Marco Rose. With Haaland fit again, he has the chance to ensure that what could be his final year in black and yellow ends with another trophy being lifted. If Dortmund cannot win on Saturday, though, it simply further sows the seeds of doubt that BVB can truly compete for the biggest trophies.