Does Erling Haaland have a future at Manchester City?
Erling Haaland’s future at Manchester City could be in doubt following an investigation from the Premier League.
The investigation into Manchester City’s accounts by the Premier League, which could lead to significant administrative and sporting sanctions, does not only have serious consequences for the club at an institutional level. It also calls into question the future of their star player, Erling Haaland, who they signed last summer for 60 million euros from Borussia Dortmund. Most of the reasons that pushed the Norwegian striker to move to the Etihad could disappear, and with them his desire to continue playing there. Haaland joined to be coached by Pep Guardiola and to be in a project that would allow him to win titles and personal awards, such as the Ballon d’Or. And those two things, with the open investigation, are up in the air.
The latest statements made by Haaland’s agent, Rafaela Pimenta, to AS, highlight the existence of a release clause that allows Haaland to leave City if he is unhappy. “I am in favour of freedom. It’s my battle. I always say that one of my priorities as an agent is to offer the player what I call ‘the key to the door’. When the player goes to a club I do everything to create the conditions so that the key to the door is in his hands. And if tomorrow you can’t stand being there anymore because you don’t like it, or they don’t pay you well or because your wife wants to live in Paris? Then you leave, don’t you? I don’t like it when my player is not free to decide,” the agent told this newspaper.
“I have done all the contracts of this agency in the last 25 years. Every single one. There wasn’t a single time a player said ‘I want to leave’ and I couldn’t do it,” she added.
The agent also spoke about the reasons that led Haaland to sign for City: “Erling’s personal experiences have been very interesting, because he had his father as a professional player for Manchester City. He comes from a football family and that counts. He spent part of his childhood there. You can see pictures of Erling as a baby in a City shirt. It was natural to experience the Premier League, City, and of course to experience what it’s like to be coached by Guardiola, that’s also very important.”
Guardiola on investigations
The Catalan coach stated emphatically a few months ago, when the investigations began, that if City’s malpractice was confirmed he would not continue. “I told our people, ‘Tell me everything about the suspicions that are there’. I looked at them and I believed them 100 per cent from day one, so I ended up defending them,” he said.
“I told them: ‘If you lie to me, the next day I won’t be here. I’ll be out and you won’t be my friends any more’. I like to represent a club that is doing things right. At the end of the day, it’s not about winning the Champions League or the Premier League, it’s about always doing well, for our people and our fans.”
No Champions League football
The first consequence of a hypothetical sanction will therefore be Guardiola’s resignation, and with it the biggest disappointment for Haaland. The Norwegian striker’s future is also in doubt. At best, a heavy points deduction in the Premier League could see him out of the Champions League for at least a season. With relegation, they would then face the possibility of not playing in Europe for quite some time.