'Haaland is ready to play for Real Madrid' - Dortmund striker backed to 'succeed' at Santiago Bernabeu

Erling Haaland, Real Madrid badge
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A man who worked closely with the Norwegian frontman at the start of his career would like to see him complete a move to the Spanish capital

Erling Haaland "is ready to play for Real Madrid", according to former Byrne FK manager Alf Ingve Berntsen, who thinks the Borussia Dortmund striker is capable of starring alongside Karim Benzema at Santiago Bernabeu.

Haaland has enjoyed a remarkable 2019-20 campaign which has seen him emerge as one of the most deadly finishers in European football.

The 19-year-old began the season on Red Bull Salzburg's books, and made his mark in the Champions League while also scoring goals for fun in the Austrian Bundesliga.

He scored 28 goals in 22 appearances across all competitions in total, attracting the attention of high-profile potential suitors such as Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Madrid in the process.

However, it was Dortmund who managed to win the race for his signature, wrapping up a €20 million (£18m/$22m) deal just before the opening of the January transfer window.

Haaland has since managed to transfer his electrifying form to Westfalenstadion, hitting 12 goals in his first 11 outings for Lucien Favre's side, with Madrid reportedly still keeping a close eye on his progress.

Berntsen witnessed the Norwegian's talents up close at Byrne, and has backed the teenager to "succeed" at the Bernabeu if a summer move comes to fruition.

"If I were the coach of any of the five best teams in the world, I would buy him [Haaland] immediately," Berntsen told Bernabeu Digital.

"I think he is ready to play for Real Madrid and I think he could succeed there.

"Erling is only 19 years old and he can still improve in all facets and parts of the game.

"I think that if the great clubs don't sign him... they may regret it later."

Haaland's old mentor went on to express his belief that the Dortmund starlet could be the perfect foil for Benzema in Madrid's attack, due to his superb technical ability and explosive strength in the final third.

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"Erling is strong and fast," Berntsen added. "He has good technique and a great mentality.

"He is smart in the area, he scores many goals and he can give many assists. So I think he could play with Benzema.

"I think Haaland can play alongside another striker and, of course, he can play as a lone forward as well."

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