LONDON, UK – It’s Christmas in May for Manchester City! The reigning English champions will get their hands on Norwegian striker Erling Haaland, one of the most sought-after players in the world and a profile he lacked, after announcing a deal with Dortmund on Tuesday.
The statement published at the end of the afternoon that “an agreement in principle has been reached with Borussia Dortmund on the transfer of striker Erling Haaland on July 1” must have sounded quiet in the ears of Mancunian coach Pep Guardiola.
The following sentence, “the transfer remains subject to the conclusion of the (contractual) conditions with the player”, should not have spoiled the joy of the Catalan, who had hardly failed to address the subject two hours earlier.
“I’d like to talk about it, but […] We’ll have time to talk about it,” he said with a smile, leaning towards the microphone during a press conference ahead of a late Premier League game in Wolverhampton on Wednesday.
Haaland, 21 and considered one of the best players of his generation with 85 goals in 88 games for Dortmund since joining in January 2020, was Sky Blues’ number one goal.
And they almost seem to be getting a bargain just looking at the transfer fee.
Haaland panics the counters
The British press, which announced formalization as imminent on Monday, revised their estimate of the release clause the English club will have to pay to €60m ($64m) rather than €75m ($79). ). million), as already mentioned.
An incredible bargain given the galloping inflation in the transfer market, especially for attacking players, although of course it will be necessary to add commissions and a very high signing bonus.
As usual, always one step ahead, Dortmund announced its successor on Tuesday in the German neo-national player Karim Adeyemi, who, like Haaland, will come from RB Salzburg.
Awaiting the Norwegian is an XXL salary that will instantly become one of City’s highest-paid players, with a salary on par with Kevin De Bruyne, more than €20m a year and a 5-year contract.
It was the price to pay to snatch away this player from Real Madrid or Bayern Munich who has been panicking on the break with 21 goals in 23 Bundesliga games this season.
According to statistician Opta, his average of one goal every 87 minutes in the league, well above that of Robert Lewandowski (1 every 100 minutes), is the best rate in the history of the German championship.
A Kane, but better?
And it’s not just in the Bundesliga that he shines, as last season he scored ten times in the Champions League to become the competition’s top scorer.
A stat that has no doubt tempted City, who are still awaiting their first success in C1 after losing their final in 2021 and their painful elimination in the semifinals at the hands of Real Madrid less than a week ago (4-3, 1-3).
This transfer will also erase last summer’s big ‘failure’ when the trail that led to Harry Kane was met with a stubborn refusal by Tottenham President Daniel Levy to hand over the Three Lions captaincy.
With Haaland, City offers an alternative that is seven years younger, perhaps a little less good in sales, but faster and even more physical.
“This guy is absolutely monstrous physically – people bounce off him,” ex-player Chris Sutton gushed to the BBC.
“He’s a wonderful finish for someone that tall and he’s got great feet, he’s very good in the air and holding the ball,” he continued.
At 21, his association with Guardiola, whose ability to keep players moving forward is unprovable, can only make any football lover dream.
In the midst of De Bruyne, Mohamed Salah or Cristiano Ronaldo, the Premier League is said to soon have a new star that will shine on its grounds.