Erling Haaland has opted to join Manchester City ahead of Real Madrid and Barcelona, with Xavi admitting the main reason behind the failed move is the ‘economic situation’.
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Barcelona manager Xavi has revealed losing to Erling Haaland is “difficult” as the Borrusia Dortmund striker reportedly agrees terms for a move to Manchester City.
The Citizens will officially trigger the release clause in Haaland’s contract after beating Real Madrid and Barca in the race to sign Europe’s most prolific young forward. The 21-year-old will be one of City’s top earners at £300,000 a week, drawing level with Premier League superstars Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Jack Grealish.
The Sky Blues expect to land Haaland for £63m, around half his true market value. As such, they are willing to pay him a mammoth salary even at his tender age. Etihad bosses are keen to add a new No9 to their ranks after missing out on Harry Kane last summer.
With Karim Benzema still in productive form for Real at 34 and Barcelona currently struggling financially, Haaland and his camp felt City was the right move at this stage in his career. However, Xavi has admitted it’s hard to take as the Norway international is close to a move to the Etihad Stadium.
“It’s very difficult because of the economic situation,” said the Spain head coach ahead of his side’s game against Celta Vigo. “I can’t lie to you, that’s the reality.
“I would not say [it is only down to money]. I will not disregard the sporting projects of other clubs. We’re not the only club with a good project. City have won many titles and compete at the highest level. But if what you say happens [and Barca don’t sign Haaland]it would have been because of financial problems.”
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Haaland, who was born in Leeds, started his career in Norway with Bryne and Molde before joining Red Bull Salzburg, where he announced himself at Europe’s big clubs. Dortmund won the first scramble for his performances in the 2019/20 season’s winning window and he had scored a total of 85 goals in 89 games for the German giants.
Haaland helped Dortmund finish second in the Bundesliga last season while also winning the DFB-Pokal. He was also voted into the UEFA Champions League squad of the season, scoring 41 goals in all competitions.
Haaland has been excellent again this season, proving why he is becoming one of Europe’s deadliest frontmen. With 28 goals in 29 games, the striker had the pick of Europe’s top clubs for his next move but settled for City where he will lead the attack.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/xavi-haaland-man-city-barcelona-26916339 Xavi bluntly admits Erling Haaland as Barcelona lose to Man City