For a long time, Real Madrid was considered Erling Haaland’s top target. Now the Norwegian has opted for Manchester City. If Real boss Florentino Pérez is to be believed, this decision is better for all concerned.

Honest words or wounded pride?

With Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappé, two absolute top strikers were on the market this summer and both were linked with Real Madrid.

But the reality is different: The Frenchman is staying with Paris Saint-Germain after the French top club convinced him with a gigantic offer, and the Norwegian is moving to Manchester City, following in the footsteps of his father, who also played for the Skyblues.

In the Spanish talk show El Chiringuito, Real president Florentino Pérez was quite relaxed about the missed transfer of Haaland. “We have the best centre-forward in the world and he’s not compatible with Haaland at the moment,” he explained, adding: “We’re not bringing Haaland in so he can sit on the bench.”

Haaland is “excellent” but Benzema “a phenomenon”

While the ex-Dortmund player is an “excellent player”, Real striker Karim Benzema is “a phenomenon”. He also nipped any possible transfer rumours in the bud. He knew nothing about an alleged exit clause for Haaland in two years.

Manchester City had signed the Norwegian from Borussia Dortmund for a fixed fee of 75 million euros. There he had shot himself into the focus of Europe’s top clubs with 86 goals and 29 assists in 89 matches.

If the statements of the Real president are to be believed, however, not so much that they would mourn his missed signing. According to Pérez, Haaland would not have been able to get past Benzema, who played a decisive role in the Royal League’s success in the championship and Champions League last season with 44 goals in 46 games.