EPL: agreement in principle between Manchester City and Dortmund for the transfer of Erling Haaland

LONDON, UK – It’s Christmas in May for Manchester City! The reigning English champions will get their hands on Norwegian striker Erling Haaland, one of the most coveted players in the world and a profile he lacked, after the announcement of a deal with Dortmund on Tuesday.

The press release explaining « that an agreement in principle has been reached with Borussia Dortmund for the transfer of striker Erling Haaland from July 1 », published at the end of the afternoon, must have resonated gently in the ears of the Mancunian coach Pep Guardiola.

Even the following, « the transfer remains subject to the finalization of the terms (of the contract) with the player », should not have tarnished the joy of the Catalan who had barely refrained from mentioning the subject two hours earlier.

“I would love to talk about it, but […] we will have time to talk about it” later, he said with a smile, leaning towards the microphone, during a press conference before a late Premier League match on Wednesday at Wolverhampton.

Haaland, 21 and considered one of the best players of his generation with 85 goals scored in 88 appearances for Dortmund since joining in January 2020, was Sky Blues’ number one target.

And they almost seem to be doing a bargain if you just look at the transfer fee.

Haaland panics the counters

The British press, which had given the formalization for imminent on Monday, revised downwards its estimate of the release clause that the English club will have to pay, to 60 M EUR (64 M$ US) and not 75 M EUR (79 US$ million) as previously mentioned.

An incredible bargain given the galloping inflation on the transfer market, especially for attacking players, even if it will obviously be necessary to add commissions and a very substantial signing bonus.

Having, as usual, always one step ahead, Dortmund has already announced its successor on Tuesday, with the German neo-international Karim Adeyemi who will arrive from RB Salzburg, like Haaland in his time.

An XXL salary awaits the Norwegian who will instantly become one of City’s highest paid players, with a salary equivalent to that of Kevin De Bruyne, more than 20 M EUR per year and a 5-year contract.

It was the price to pay to snatch from Real Madrid or Bayern Munich this player who is panicking the counters with 21 goals in 23 Bundesliga games this season.

His average of one goal every 87 minutes in the league, well above that of Robert Lewandowski (1 every 100 minutes), is even the best ratio in the entire history of the German championship, according to the statistician Opta.

A Kane, but better?

And it’s not just in the Bundesliga that he shines, since last season he found the net 10 times in the Champions League, finishing as the competition’s top scorer.

A statistic that undoubtedly seduced City, still looking for its first success in C1, after its lost final in 2021 then its painful elimination in the semi-finals less than a week ago by Real Madrid (4-3 , 1-3).

This transfer will also erase the big “failure” of last summer when the track leading to Harry Kane had come up against the obstinate refusal of the president of Tottenham, Daniel Levy, to yield the captain of the Three Lions.

With Haaland, City offer themselves a seven-year-old younger alternative, perhaps a little less good in distribution, but faster and even more physical.

“This guy is absolutely monstrous physically – people are bouncing off him,” ex-player Chris Sutton enthused to the BBC.

« He’s a wonderful finisher for someone so tall and he has great feet, he’s very good in the air and able to keep the ball, » he continued.

At 21, his association with Guardiola, whose ability to make players progress further, is no longer to be proven, can only make any football lover dream.

In the middle of De Bruyne, Mohamed Salah or Cristiano Ronaldo, the Premier League should soon have a new star that will shine on its grounds.

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