Borussia Dortmund failed to secure qualification to the last 16 of the Champions League after being beaten 3-1 away at Sporting CP, which means that Erling Haaland's side will feature in the Europa League knockouts this season.
The Norway international is one of the most sought-after strikers around and his future remains uncertain, with several European powerhouses being interested in acquiring his services next summer.
Meanwhile, Dortmund are seen as title contenders in the Bundesliga this season as they are sitting second in the table, just one point behind Bayern Munich, but their struggles in Europe could affect Haaland's future.
Watzke hinted at Haaland's potential departure
Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke admitted in an interview for Sport1.de back in October that the Bundesliga club don't have the financial power to keep their stars for more than three or four years.
Haaland joined Dortmund two years ago from Red Bull Salzburg and since that December of 2019 he has taken the Bundesliga by storm. With his contract expiring in 2024, the deal is rumoured to include a release clause between 75 million euros and 100 million euros, which can be triggered in the summer of 2022.
"You also need hygiene in the squad," explained Watzke. "That means: if you believe that you will go all-in for Haaland and that all other players will stay as they are, then you will be wrong about the character of the players.
"The renewal process is permanent with us. At some point the best players are bought from us and you start all over again.
"Developing a top European team over the long term is difficult if you can't keep your players for three or four years. We're not at this level yet."
Since joining Dortmund, Haaland has netted an incredible 70 goals in 69 matches, which means that he is averaging more than one goal per game.
According to Transfermarkt, the Norwegian striker has scored 119 goals in 163 games thus far in his career.