Man City 'Ready to Move' for Erling Haaland

Jamie Spencer
Manchester City have eyes on Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland
Manchester City have eyes on Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland / DeFodi Images/Getty Images

Manchester City remain keen on prolific Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland as they begin to plan for life without all-time record Sergio Aguero, who will be 33 by the start of next season.

A loyal servant for a decade, Aguero’s career is beginning to wind down and he has hardly played so far in 2020/21 as a result of injury. City already have Gabriel Jesus in reserve, but there are doubts over whether the Brazilian is cut out to lead the line long-term.

Man City are aware they need to plan for life after Sergio Aguero
Man City are aware they need to plan for life after Sergio Aguero / Visionhaus/Getty Images

Having spent just over £100m on new centre-backs ahead of this season, 90min revealed in November that a new striker has been identified as a priority signing in 2021.

City are even open to selling Jesus if it means they will be able to raise the necessary funds for a new long-term front man. Haaland, Lautaro Martinez and Kylian Mbappe were already named as likely targets, although there is a feeling that if Mbappe is to go anywhere it will be Real Madrid.

The latest from The Times is that Pep Guardiola’s new two-year contract extension only underlines City’s motivation in the transfer market as the club looks to ‘reinvigorate’ a squad that has gone past its peak since back-to-back Premier League title in 2018 and 2019.

Real Madrid and Manchester United have also been heavily linked with Haaland, with the latter losing out to Dortmund when the youngster left Red Bull Salzburg last January.

Haaland joined Dortmund last January
Haaland joined Dortmund last January / DeFodi Images/Getty Images

City are now described as ‘ready to make a move’ if Haaland decides he wants to move on again so soon. However, with a £68.7m release clause in his contract not becoming active until 2022, Dortmund could demand far more than that were he to try and leave in 2021 instead.

The young Norwegian’s goal record is phenomenal. Even still seven months shy of his 21st birthday, he has already scored over 100 senior club goals - that includes 44 in 40 appearances last season and another 17 in 14 so far this season.

Manchester United felt they had a good chance of signing Haaland this time last year because of his pre-existing relationship with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer from their time together at Molde in Norway.

But City also have decent connections with the Haaland camp because the player’s father, Alf-Inge, was famously at the club for three years between 2000 and 2003. Haaland Jr. has also been pictured wearing City colours as a child – notably even long after his dad actually left the club.

Alf Inge Haaland previously played for Man City
Alf Inge Haaland previously played for Man City / Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Yet aside from price and whether they would pursue Haaland in 2021 or 2022, the biggest obstacle for City could be the presence of Mino Raiola. The super-agent represents the 20-year-old sensation but famously does not have a good relationship with Guardiola.

He has publicly criticised the City boss in the past and the pair seemingly didn’t see eye to eye when Zlatan Ibrahimovic, another of Raiola’s famous clients, was at Barcelona in 2009 and 2010.

The Times actually notes that City were in the running for Haaland when he was leaving Salzburg, but refused to include a release clause in his contract. Local rivals United are thought to have had a similar response to the idea of such a clause, but Dortmund agreed to it.

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