Madrid make Aubameyang back-up plan if Haaland, Sane moves fail

Real Madrid will reportedly turn to Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang if they fail to attract Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Braut Haaland to the club.

The Daily Express claims Haaland and Liverpool forward Sadio Mane are the players most wanted by Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane, and if either player declines to move to Santiago Bernabeu, then an approach will be made for Aubameyang.

Haaland moved to Dortmund in January 2020, signing from Austria’s Red Bull Salzburg. The 19-year-old scored 12 goals in his first 11 appearances for the Bundesliga club before football was shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Leeds-born Haaland – son of ex-Nottingham Forest, Leeds and Manchester City midfielder Alf-Inge Haaland – came off the substitutes’ bench to score a hat-trick on his Dortmund debut, netting three goals in 20 minutes against Augsburg. Dortmund went on to win the game 5-3, away from home, having trailed 3-1 when Haaland was introduced.

The Express adds that Barcelona and Manchester United are also interested in Aubameyang, should the 30-year-old leave the Emirates Stadium this summer.

Aubameyang moved to Arsenal from Dortmund in 2018, having previously been on the books at Serie A giants Milan and French club Saint-Etienne. He has scored 61 goals in 97 games for Arsenal, including 20 in 32 appearances in 2019-20, and was named club captain in November 2019.

The Gabon international took the armband at Arsenal after Granit Xhaka was stripped of the captaincy by then-manager Unai Emery following Xhaka’s reaction to being booed by his own supporters in a game against Crystal Palace. Aubameyang is also captain of his country, as well as the Panthers’ all-time leading scorer with 25 goals in 63 appearances.

Mane, meanwhile, has been a Liverpool player since a 2016 move from Southampton. The Senegal international has scored 18 goals in 38 games for the league-leading Reds, with 14 goals in the Premier League.

A fee of £50m has been touted for Aubameyang, while it is speculated that a world record £140m would be needed to prise Mane from Anfield. Dortmund are also said to want £50m should Haaland leave this summer, having paid £18m for him at the start of the year.

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