Borussia Dortmund's head of first-team football Sebastian Kehl has explained why Erling Haaland took a trip to Munich last week amid reports that the striker had a meeting with Barcelona boss Xavi.
Haaland is currently the most in-demand striker in European football, with the likes of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea all having been credited with an interest in his services ahead of the summer transfer window.
Barca has also been touted as a possible next destination for the 21-year-old, and Xavi has reportedly been to Germany to try and convince him that Camp Nou is the best place for him to reach his full potential.
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What's been said?
Haaland and Xavi were both present in Munich last week, but Kehl has insisted that the former was only there under instruction from Dortmund as he continues his recovery from a muscle injury.
"We tried to optimise a few things, it's also not unusual to get a second opinion," the BVB chief told Ruhr Nachrichten. "That's why he was in Munich."
Pressed on whether Haaland could be fit enough to return to action when Marco Rose's team take on Arminia Bielefeld on March 13, Kehl replied: "That's open."
Xavi did little to quash the speculation linking Haaland with Barca when he was quizzed on the alleged meeting with Haaland.
Speaking before his side's 2-1 win at Elche, the Spaniard told reporters: “I can't give details.
“I can only say that we are working for both the present and the future of the club."
Haaland remains contracted to Dortmund until 2024, but it has been reported that he has a €75 million (£62m/$81m) release clause in his contract that will become active later this year.