Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Haaland moving to City after $63m deal with Dortmund

Manchester City have agreed to sign Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund, bringing in one of the world’s most exciting young players as a late replacement for club great Sergio Aguero.

Haaland, 21, will join City on July 1, the Premier League champions said in a brief statement on Tuesday, with individual terms being finalised.

The Norway striker will be worth 60 million euros ($63.2 million) after City activates the release clause in his Dortmund contract. He is set to sign a five-year contract with the club he supported as a child and for which his father, Alf-Inge, played from 2000–03.

Along with Kylian Mbappe, Haaland is leading a new generation of football superstars ready to take over from Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. A tall, powerful and fast centre-forward, he has scored 85 goals in 88 games for Dortmund since joining Austrian club Salzburg in January 2020 and became the youngest player to reach 20 goals in the Champions League last year.

Haaland, who has also been linked with a move to Real Madrid, could be the title signing that takes City from regular winners of domestic trophies to the standout team in Europe. Pep Guardiola’s team has failed to win the Champions League despite the huge expense of the club’s Abu Dhabi ownership.

City have played without an out-and-out striker this season after the departure of its record scorer, Aguero, at the end of the 2020-21 campaign after 10 years. The team’s lack of natural goal-scorers has been visible in some of the big games this season, especially when the Champions League semi-finals ended despite Real Madrid scoring five goals in two stages.

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In a sense, Haland is returning home. He was born in England – in Leeds, a short drive from Manchester in the north of the country – while his father was playing for City in the Premier League. As a child, Erling Haaland was pictured wearing the City jersey.

In a news conference held hours before City’s announcement, Guardiola indicated that Haaland was on his way to the Etihad Stadium, but said he could not say what he really wanted. His rivals talked more about what could be the biggest transfer ahead of next season.

“This transfer will set new levels, let me put it this way,” said Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, whose team is fighting City to win the league title this season.

The deal has survived the recent death of Dutch agent Mino Raiola, widely seen as one of the most influential power brokers in global football. Raiola and Alfe-Inge Haaland have long talked about a big-money transfer to Erling Haaland, one of Europe’s biggest clubs, although the coronavirus pandemic meant those teams had no money to spend. was less for.

City tried to sign Tottenham striker Harry Kane last season and when he didn’t, Portugal forward considered bidding for Cristiano Ronaldo before sealing a return to Manchester United.

City, who are favorites to win the Premier League this season to make six top-flight titles over the past 11 years, have signed a player with the best years ahead of them and who is almost unstoppable at times. His rivalry with Bayern Munich’s record-breaking goalscorer Robert Lewandowski has lit up the Bundesliga.

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In less than three years, the Norwegian has grown from a promising but little-known young player in the Austrian league to one of the most sought after players in the world.

He burst onto the scene with barely nine goals in a game for Norway at the 2019 Under-20 World Cup and scored a hat-trick in his Champions League debut for Salzburg against Bruges in the same year.

That form moved him to Dortmund, where he is known for his offbeat and sometimes prickly personality in interviews.

Leeds manager Jesse Marsh, who coached Haaland in Salzburg, said City were “destined to become one of the best players in the world”.

“I wish he was here on his way back home to Leeds – it’s his birthplace – but I understand the decision for him to move to Man City,” Marsh said with a smile.

“It will be interesting. He is an explosive player in transition and Man City often plays a lot in possession,[but]he can play any style of game.

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Associated Press Sports Writers James Ellingworth and Ciaran Fahey contributed to this story.

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More Associated Press Soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Steve Douglas is at https://twitter.com/sdouglas80

Nation World News Desk
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