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Monday, September 26, 2022

Erling Haaland seems to be on the verge of joining Manchester City

Manchester City appears to have won the race to sign striker Erling Haaland, with multiple published reports indicating that the 21-year-old Norwegian goal-scoring machine will be the club’s latest addition to a star-studded roster that is on the verge of winning its fourth Premier League title in as many seasons.

Apparently outbidding (or outmanoeuvring) prospective suitors like as Real Madrid and Bayern Munich for Haaland, one of the world’s most sought-after young goal-scoring prospects, City seem to have completed the trade that had been speculated for many weeks.

A June deadline had been set for City and its competitors to exercise a release clause in Haaland’s Dortmund contract, which was estimated to be worth up to 75 million euros, or slightly more than $80 million. According to reports, City and Haaland have already agreed on contract terms, with the latter’s new wage anticipated to place him among the world’s top dozen or so earners.

That isn’t a concern for City, which is backed by the wealthy brother of the ruler of the United Arab Emirates and has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to create one of the world’s most talented teams in recent years. Haaland, on the other hand, is most likely out of reach for other teams. This includes Barcelona, which is mired in a financial crisis that forced it to release Lionel Messi for free last summer, and Bayern Munich, whose sporting director recently stated that adding Haaland “doesn’t make any sense” for the perennial German champions because the team already employs a world-class striker in Robert Lewandowski.

After completing the transfer of Haaland this week, the player will have an opportunity to bid goodbye to the supporters of Borussia Dortmund at their last home game of the season against Hertha Berlin on Saturday.

Even though City now leads Liverpool by three points in the Premier League championship race with three games still to play, its pursuit of Haaland was motivated by the desire to win the European Cup for the first time. More than a decade had passed since City’s leadership set their sights on winning a trophy. Last season, they made their first-ever final, losing to London rival Chelsea, and have advanced to the semifinals this season before being defeated by Real Madrid in the Champions League last week.

Haaland, who will be 22 in July, has been tipped for worldwide prominence since he was a teenager due to his prolific scoring ability and scary combination of height, speed, and talent. When he was 15 years old, Erling Haaland made his professional debut for his boyhood club, Norway’s Bryne FK, and a year later, he signed with Molde, under the management of former Manchester United midfielder Ole Gunner Solskjaer, who was at the time Molde’s manager. Erling Haaland is the son of former Premier League midfielder Alfie Haaland.

When he arrived in Austria in 2018, he played for Red Bull Salzburg, where he scored 17 league goals in his lone season and added eight more in his first five outings in the UEFA Europa League. A little more than a year later, Borussia Dortmund snapped him up, and he made an immediate impact, scoring a hat trick in 23 minutes on his debut.

With Dortmund, Haaland has scored 61 goals in 65 Bundesliga games and an additional 15 goals in three Champions League seasons.

Upon completion of the transaction, he will join Manchester City, nearly exactly 22 years and one month after his father made the same move. As a result of numerous injury-plagued seasons in Manchester, as well as one notorious foul at the hands of Manchester United’s Roy Keane, Alfie Haaland retired from football in 2003. Erling’s father, Alfie Haaland, played for City from 1996 to 2000.

Dan O'Brien
I am a journalist for The National Era with an emphasis in sports.
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