The Premier League season isn’t over yet, but Manchester City have already started planning for next season by announcing an “agreement in principle” with Borussia Dortmund over the transfer of Erling Haaland.
In a statement released on Tuesday, City confirmed an agreement had been reached for the 21-year-old by July 1, which remains “subject to the club’s final agreement with the player”.
Haaland passed a medical this week and the deal ends Pep Guardiola’s search for a “long-term successor” to City’s record goalscorer Sergio Aguero, Will Unwin has said The guard. The striker’s €60m (£51.5m) buyout clause has been met and he is believed to be making £375,000-a-week plus bonuses.
A “homecoming” for Haaland Junior
This is a “homecoming of sorts” for the Norwegian, said Chris Wright ESPN. Alf-Inge Haaland, the player’s father and current agent, played for City between 2000 and 2003.
It was certainly a “fantastic story” for Haaland Junior, who “obviously grew up with a real affection” for the club, Ben Ransom said Sky sports news. “I’m sure everyone saw the photos of him as a kid in a Man City shirt.”
Haaland was born in Leeds in the summer, his father came to City from Leeds United. The Daily Telegraph reported. He has attended “several games over the years” and told City he wanted to join them “just for emotional and football reasons”.
After his professional debut in 2017 as a 15-year-old at home club Bryne in Norway, Haaland has since played for Molde, Red Bull Salzburg and Dortmund.
He scored 27 goals in 29 games for Austrian club Salzburg, including a hat-trick on his European debut, and it put him “on the radar” of Dortmund, who signed him for €20m in December 2019, he said AFP. In Germany, the “tor machine and record breaker” has scored 85 goals in 88 games and is the youngest player to score 50 Bundesliga goals, reaching the milestone in just 50 games.
He has also excelled at international level, scoring 15 goals in 17 games for Norway. Those staggering numbers have made him the “most wanted center forward in the world,” Wright said on ESPN. And his move to City will be “the next phase of his meteoric career”.
“A Galactico Contract”
Regarded as one of “Europe’s most ruthless goalscorers”, Haaland is 6ft 4in with broad shoulders and can “overwhelm centre-backs with his strength, overtake them with his speed and outwit them with his skills,” Adam Bate continued Sky Sports. Turning 22 in July, “he could be the next best player in the world”.
For the City players, “it’s going to feel like a Galactico signing,” former Scotland midfielder Don Hutchison told BBC Radio 5 Live Football every day podcast. “It’s amazing that Haaland is coming into the Premier League.”
For City’s rivals, however, Haaland’s signing might not be such a surprising prospect. Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp’s “concerned reaction” “speaks volumes,” said Jake Polden in the daily mirror. Klopp, whose side are currently level on points with City at the top of the Premier League, said Haaland is a “real beast” and “unfortunately he’s a really good signing”.
Can he help City finally win the Champions League?
In April last year – at 20 years and 231 days – Haaland became the fastest and youngest player to score 20 goals in the Champions League. Since making his Champions League debut for Red Bull Salzburg in 2019, Haaland has scored 23 goals in the competition and it’s “a record surpassed only by Robert Lewandowski and Karim Benzema,” said Giacomo Pisa The sun.
Spaniard Guardiola has won ten trophies with City since signing in 2016. However, he is yet to win a Champions League with Etihad. Pisa asked whether Haaland will be the man to finally win Manchester City the Champions League title. “Well, if you go by his stats in the competition, you wouldn’t bet on Guardiola’s side lifting the trophy in Istanbul in 12 months.”
https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/sport/football/956704/erling-haaland-profile-man-city-transfer Erling Haaland on Manchester City: reactions from the football world