German reports this week suggest that 2023 and not 2022 will be Erling Haaland’s summer.
It’s a date that is already on the horizon for Manchester City fans.
The latest moves in the Haaland saga suggest Madrid are keen on a move for the superstar striker next summer, with the need to find suitable terms for Kylian Mbappe when his contract with Paris Saint-Germain expires believed to be the priority for the next near season.
Getting another season from one of the deadliest strikers in world football is obviously a scenario Borussia Dortmund would like. It is not insignificant that this latest development was reported for the first time from their locality by Nachrichten of the Ruhr.
If this is Dortmund’s briefing and it’s an arrangement like Madrid’s, then where would that leave City in their long-awaited pursuit of Haaland?
Firstly, the 21-year-old’s £64m release clause is still expected to become active. Although, as 90min reports, he has to be paid in full to be triggered – something at odds with the installment approach big clubs typically take for major deals.
As such, Dortmund might be able to extract a higher price tag from Madrid a year later, but we’re likely entering a situation where money isn’t the deciding factor.
City and Madrid are likely to be able to put together attractive financial packages for such talent. The question will then come down to what they are selling.
The Madrid booklet’s narrative is quite simple – an opportunity to write the next chapter for the 13-time European champions and make it Erling Haaland’s chapter.
City are in a different position to write their most illustrious pages as we speak. The Pep Guardiola era redefined what is possible in English football. As they return to Champions League action next week, the final frontier will come into view.
A useful element for Madrid at this stage is the fact that Guardiola’s current deal with City expires in 2023. If the Catalan decides he has achieved everything he wants by then and walks away – he It’s impossible to imagine Pep leaving City on anything other than his own terms – then it might be harder to sell the football project of playing under his successor at Haaland.
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However, City fans are increasingly confident that Guardiola will stay beyond his current terms. He seems completely at home at the club and the extension of Joao Cancelo’s long-term contract was the latest confirmation that the core of his conquering squad is going nowhere.
If Guardiola wants to be here long term, expect most of his key players to be here with him.
Madrid and Dortmund’s announced strategy for 2023 looks pretty tidy at the moment, but if Guardiola leads further City renewals beyond that date, it should underline to Haaland where he would best spend the defining years of his career.
Do you expect Manchester City to go all-in for Erling Haaland? Follow City Is Ours Editor Dom Farrel on Twitter to join the discussion and let us know what you think in the comments section below.