Manchester City reached an agreement in principle with Borussia Dortmund to sign Erling Haaland, and it was pending to complete personal terms with the Norwegian striker.
As one of the figures with the greatest projection in international football, Haaland arrives to replace, a year late, Sergio Agüero in the role of born scorer for the English club.
Haaland will cost 60 million euros ($63.2 million) after City activated the release clause in his contract with Dortmund. He will sign a five-year contract with the club he encouraged as a child and for which his father, Alf-Inge, played from 2000-03.
Along with Kylian Mbappé, Haaland is one of the bastions of the nine generation of soccer stars who would take over from Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. A lanky, powerful and speedy centre-forward, he has scored 85 goals in 88 games for Dortmund after joining from Austrian club Salzburg in January 2020 and last year became the youngest player to reach 20 goals in the Premier League. Champions.
Haaland, who had also dreamed of signing with Madrid, could be the piece that can catapult City from the usual winner of the domestic league to reign in Europe. Pep Guardiola’s team has not been able to consecrate itself in the Champions League despite the considerable expense of its owners from Abu Dhabi.
City basically without a born striker this season after the departure of Aguero, their record goalscorer, at the end of the 2020-21 campaign after 10 years. The absence of a lethal striker weighed on several key games this season, most notably when they were eliminated by Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals, although they did score five goals in the two tie matches.
The 21-year-old Haaland was born in England — in Leeds, a short drive from Manchester in the north of the country — when his father was playing for City in the Premier League. As a child, Haaland posed for photos in a City shirt.
In a press conference held hours before City’s announcement, Guardiola hinted that Haaland will land soon at the Etihad stadium, but that he could not say so openly.
His rivals were quick to react on the most shocking transfer with a view to next season.
“This transfer will put the market on another level,” Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp told Sky Sports.
Haaland will be able to say goodbye to the Dortmund fans in the team’s final game of the season, at home to Hertha Berlin on Saturday.
The transfer was finalized after the recent death of Haaland’s agent, Mino Raiola, considered one of the most influential figures in football. Raiola and Alfe-Inge Haaland had been talking for some time about Erling’s eventual move to one of Europe’s big clubs, even if the coronavirus pandemic meant those teams had less money to spend.
The Citizens acquired Harry Kane from Tottenham last summer and, when those efforts failed, considered signing Cristiano Ronaldo before the Portuguese forward opted to return to Manchester United.