Manchester City’s search for a leading striker is over.
Following a summer in which it was in the mix to sign Harry Kane and reportedly made a late play to sign Cristiano Ronaldo, Man City confirmed it has a deal in principal to sign 21-year-old Norwegian sensation Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund this summer. A club on the cusp of winning the Premier League title for the fourth time in five seasons is about to add arguably the most sought-after player on the transfer market.
“Manchester City can confirm that we have reached an agreement in principle with Borussia Dortmund for the transfer of striker Erling Haaland to the Club on 1st July 2022. The transfer remains subject to the Club finalizing terms with the player,” City wrote in a statement.
Pep Guardiola had hinted at the signing earlier on Tuesday, with the move well beyond being a secret. Haaland’s father, Alf-Inge Haaland, played for City in his career, and now his son is set to do the same.
“Everybody knows the situation,” Guardiola said at a press conference. “But I should not talk because I don’t like to talk about the future. Dortmund and Man City have told me I can’t say anything until the deal is done.
“I would love to talk, but I can’t.”
Once the ink dries on their contracts, he can. According to transfer market expert Fabrizio Romano, Haaland will be on a £375,000 per week wage, the same as Kevin De Bruyne while City will trigger the release clause in his Dortmund contract and pay €60 million, in addition to other commissions and fees, to secure the dynamic forward’s services on a deal through 2027.
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Haaland burst onto the scene in Norway under Ole Gunnar Solskjær at Molde before moving to RB Salzburg, where he played for American manager Jesse Marsch.
“I wish he was coming back home here to Leeds—this is his birthplace—but I understand the decision for him to go to Man City,” Marsch said at a press conference, addressing the forthcoming move. “Credit to them for getting that done. I always wish the best for Erling, he is an incredible human being.”
Haaland has scored 61 goals in 64 league games since joining Dortmund, with an additional nine goals in nine domestic cup matches and another 15 goals in 13 Champions League games, making for a remarkable scoring record.
He’ll fill what has largely been seen as City’s biggest void, with Guardiola cycling through false nines and other alternatives at striker while waiting for a reliable answer. As long as Haaland is healthy—and he has missed time this season with various muscle injuries—he is as prolific of an answer as City could have asked for.
The ultimate goal will be carrying City to the Champions League title. The club has won everything it can in England and is on the cusp of adding more domestic silverware in the form of the league title, but a collapse at Real Madrid in the Champions League semifinals kept the quest for that elusive European trophy going. Madrid was one of the many teams reportedly in the mix to sign Haaland, but City, at the very least, earned the head-to-head win in this battle.
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