Man City said to have beaten Real Madrid to Haaland deal
Borussia Dortmund's Norwegian striker is one of the hottest properties in world football, and the player is determined to make his big move this summer.
Manchester City appear to have gained the advantage in the race for Erling Haaland, at least according to UK paper The Daily Mail, who write that the Premier League champions have already reached an agreement with the Norwegian striker to join their squad from the summer. Sources close to the operation in Germany are reported to have said that personal terms have been discussed and the framework of the transfer is ready to be signed off by City chiefs.
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According to the Mail, City must now decide whether to execute the €75 million ($82m) clause that would allow him to leave Borussia Dortmund in the coming months, in addition to the substantial commission that agent Mino Raiola and the player's father would take. It is possible that the final outlay could exceed 120 million euros.
The race for the signing of Haaland is not over yet, though, and other big clubs including Real Madrid, Barcelona and PSG remain interested. The feeling in England, however, is that the Citizens are in pole position given that the player's father, Alfie, spent three years at the club after leaving Leeds United. Seeing his son at the Etihad would prolong the relationship between the club and the family.
That said, sources close to the player tell AS that his preference is still to play for 13-time European Champions, Real Madrid, provided he can be assured of a June 2022 arrival. He does not want to delay his huge move away from Dortmund any longer.
Barcelona are another club ready to make an offer for Haaland, one totalling €100 million net over five seasons, according to Catalan outlet Sport. Barça want to build their evolving team around Haaland like what they did in the past with Ronaldinho in 2003, Messi in 2008 and Neymar in 2013. As we previously reported, though, club president Joan Laporta believes that Madrid has the upper hand in this negotiation. Los Blancos have the financial ability to pay the fees quicker, whereas Barça would have to pay them in installments.
Barcelona's advantage could come in the historical storytelling, painting his arrival at Camp Nou, and the likely Kylian Mbappé move to the capital club, as the new Messi-Ronaldo LaLiga battle of the decade.
Haaland would be seen as the face of the club, strengthening his own personal brand alongside that of the blaugran which remains huge despite some recent years of difficulties.