Following the exclusive news in the Daily Mail by top Manchester City journalist Jack Gaughan and colleague Craig Hope that the club have a deal in place to sign Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund in the summer, the ever-reliable Pol Ballus in The Times has provided further details regarding the potential transfer.
Ballus writes that the Premier League champions are confident they can agree a £100million deal to sign the Norweigan, but Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe holds the keys to the move, with Real Madrid working on signing the Frenchman.
Haaland reportedly harbours dreams of playing for Los Blancos, loving Spain and Spanish culture and already owning a house there. The 21-year-old has sights on being the world's best player and winning the Ballon d'Or, and he knows that can be achieved as long as he is the main man at his next club – according to the report. However, with Mbappe potentially leaving Paris for the Santiago Bernabeu this summer, the fear for the Norway international is that he will not hold that position.
It is said that should the France international join Carlo Ancelotti's side - City believe it strengthens their hand in persuading Haaland to link up with Pep Guardiola and his players this summer. Ballus reveals that the club are even prepared to tell the forward they would not stand in his way if he wanted to leave the Premier League after four or five years and join Real then – fulfilling his Spanish ambition.
Club officials such as Director of Football Txiki Begiristain and Chief of Football Operations Omar Berrada reportedly went to Monaco on February 3rd to meet Haaland's representatives and discuss the conditions for a transfer – conditions they are said to be willing to meet.
City are also said to be willing to meet the £63million release clause in the Nord's Dortmund contract, with agent and signing-on fees taking the total deal to about £100million – a figure also suggested in the exclusive Mail report last night.
Following the news surfacing on social media, much has been made of City seemingly being willing to let Haaland leave for Madrid after four or five years at the Etihad Stadium – but ultimately, this could massively work in the club's favour as they hunt that big-name striker.
Were the club to sign Harry Kane from Tottenham this summer, for example, it is unlikely they would get more than four or five years at the highest level from the England captain anyways – then you factor in that there would be little to no resale value for Kane after five years.
By keeping the door open for Haaland to fulfil his Spanish dream, City present the best immediate term option for the player, both in terms of current and future sporting options. Guardiola's side are arguably the best in Europe at the moment, so Haaland will be joining a highly competitive club with development potential endless under the Catalan, and that same club will not be standing in the way of him fulfilling his long-term dream.
In allowing Haaland to leave for Spain after four or five years, City will have opened up a lucrative pathway for team Haaland, which includes notorious money-making super-agent Mino Raiola, as they are almost guaranteed another huge transfer in a few years – something they are perhaps not guaranteed by moving straight to Spain.
However, in City's favour, who is to say the player will not decide to stay in the longer term after experiencing the club? After all, no one expected David Silva or Sergio Aguero to complete decades at the club when the pair signed.
Written by: @NA1907_
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