The Norwegian international will move to the Etihad in the summer after the Premier League champions announced that they had reached an agreement in principle with Borussia Dortmund, and City agreed to pay his favorable release clause.
A multitude of European giants sought to sign with Haaland, including the Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona as well as City’s fierce rival Manchester United.
Chelsea were also interested and investigated the deal last summer before signing Romelu Lukaku, although Dortmund were adamant that he would not be sold because he had already lost Jadon Sancho.
Now ESPN claim that Chelsea this time hesitated to join the signing race with Haaland because club scouts suggested he could struggle to adjust to the Premier League.
There was a sense that the explosive and powerful Haaland benefited from the space allowed for him to fly into the Bundesliga, something he would starve in the more compact Premier League.
Bundesliga defenses usually play with far higher defensive lines, while teams are placed much deeper in the Premier League – especially when they play against City and Chelsea who dominate the ball.
Interestingly, Chelsea was not the only club that had the reserves to invest so much money in the deal for Haaland; although the exemption clause is only around £ 51 million, total expenditure is closer to nine digits if signing fees, agency fees and bonuses are taken into account.
The ESPN report also claims that Barcelona had their reservations about Haaland’s signing, although instead of worrying about his style of play they felt his personality and character could be a problem.
Real Madrid were also worried about his injury record – he missed several games this season due to various muscle problems – although he was still looking for his signature until February.
After a fruitful year at Red Bull Salzburg, Haaland moved to Dortmund in 2019 and scored 85 goals in 88 appearances for the club in all competitions and joined City as one of the most exciting young players in world football.
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