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Erling Haaland's Transfer To Borussia Dortmund's True Cost

Borussia Dortmund announced the successful purchase of 19-year-old striker Erling Haaland just days before the European transfer window opens in January. One of the most sought after talents in all of soccer, Haaland was guaranteed to leave Austrian club Red Bull Salzburg this January with a host of suitors battling for his signature. The youngster had a 20 million euro release clause in his contract with his club, meaning that if any team offered 20 million for him, they were forced to accept the offer and let the club negotiate a contract with the player. After tearing up Europe in the first half of this season and breaking countless records, 20 million is a bargain for Haaland, and as a result, he had countless teams pay off his release clause. In 20 games in the Austrian league and Champions league combined he has scored 24 goals and has 7 assists. These numbers are astonishing for any striker, but for a 19-year-old in his first season as a full-time European professional player, they are unprecedented.

Haaland celebrates one of his goals this season

Because of this, Haaland was left with a choice for which club he wanted to sign for, with Borussia Dortmund, Red Bull Leipzig, Juventus, and Manchester United being the favorites. Ultimately, the youngster chose Dortmund for their history of playing young players and their dire need of a top-level striker. However, it is not his decision that interests me, rather, the way they convinced him, his family, and his agent to sign that made me want to write this article.

Haaland holds up a Borussia Dortmund jersey shortly after signing his contract for the club

While it may seem like Dortmund only has to pay the 20 million euro release clause, a signing bonus, and wages to get Haaland on the pitch, the true cost of his transfer is far greater. In order to convince Haaland to make the move to Germany, Dortmund reportedly paid his agent, Mino Raiola, 15 million euros and his father 10 million euros.


This is one of the most interesting parts of soccer transfers that often flies under the radar or is completely unknown by most fans. Most transfers see a hidden fee go to player's agents, family members, or friends to get them to influence the player's decision. While this may seem like corrupt bargaining and bad for the sport, it is another way in which the business of soccer worldwide vastly outpaces and outgrows other sports. The sheer funds that go into transfers in soccer and the sport as a whole are unrivaled by any sport worldwide, and clubs always find new ways to get the best talents which is more than evident in Dortmund's purchase of Haaland. Look for more soccer content and transfer updates and reactions as the January transfer window gets underway in the coming days.

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CONTACT: ilr.sbs@cornell.edu