Multiple reports confirm Manchester City closing in on Erling Haaland
Following the exclusive report by Mike Keegan in the Daily Mail one night ago revealing that Manchester City had agreed terms on a deal with the representatives of Erling Haaland for the striker to join the club on a five-year deal, multiple journalists at various publications across the country have weighed in on the Nord's projected move to the Etihad Stadium.
Stuart Brennan of the Manchester Evening News has reported that City are refusing to comment on the Mail's claims that the Borussia Dortmund forward had agreed on a contract worth in excess of £500,000 per week with the Blues while also making clear that the claims had not originated from them.
Brennan added that Haaland is understood to want to join Pep Guardiola's side as his first choice, with the Premier League champions willing to meet the release clause in the player's Dortmund contract. It's added that sources at Real Madrid are privately accepting that they are fighting a losing battle to land the Norway international, with Bayern Munich publicly ruling themselves out of the running – putting City in the driving seat.
David Ornstein of The Athletic was next to disclose that Haaland had given the green light to a City move after the club had agreed initial person terms with his representatives. Ornstein, however, cautiously reported that there is still work to be done including details of the contract, commissions owed to the representatives, and Dortmund's payment itself – meaning a deal was not yet complete. The Athletic journalist also confirmed that the Blues declined to comment and regarded developments in the story as further speculation.
Mike McGrath of The Telegraph was next to report on the mooted transfer, taking the angle that Real Madrid's prioritisation of Kylian Mbappe on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain would leave City with a clear path to the 82 goals in 85 Dortmund appearances frontman, with Carlo Ancelotti's side unlikely to sign both Mbappe and Haaland.
McGrath corroborates the information relayed by Keegan and Brennan with regards to City being ready to trigger the buyout clause, although McGrath goes against his Daily Mail counterpart's claims of a contract worth in excess of £500,000 per week. The Telegraph journalist has the figure in excess of £400,000 per week. It's added that the club will listen to offers for players out on loan and on the fringes of the squad to balance the books.
Pol Ballus, who is known to be close to the powers that be at the City Football Academy, was the next to provide insight with a piece in The Times – writing that Haaland has informed City that he prefers them to Real Madrid. City reportedly believe they will be able to finalise the details of the transfer with the forward and his representatives relatively quickly.
Last month, we covered claims from Ballus suggesting that the Blues were even prepared to tell the prodigious young striker that they would not stand in his way if he wanted to play in Spain after four or five years – this is reaffirmed in the latest Times' story, with City said to have advised Haaland to join them now and Real Madrid later.
Interestingly, Ballus reports that club sources claim the salary harmony of the squad will not be broken by their contract proposal for Haaland, with the player to join Kevin De Bruyne – who is said to earn £385,000 per week – as one of the highest earners at the club.
Payments owed to Haaland's representatives including Mino Raiola and former City midfielder Alfie Haaland, as well as a signing-on fee for the player, could reach a combined sum of around £40milllion, according to Ballus – which would raise the total outlay beyond the £63million release clause. The Times' journalist notes that both Real and City are willing to pay whatever bonus payments are required – but that City's salary offer is slighter higher.
Despite the nuances in each of the journalists' stories, they all point toward a sky blue future for one of the most coveted young strikers in a generation – and as written in The Times – barring a late change of mind by Erling Haaland, City will have brought an end to their longstanding pursuit of an elite Sergio Aguero replacement.
Written by: @NA1907_
Follow our Twitter account for reliable, live updates on all the latest news surrounding this story and everything Manchester City in real time.