The worst kept secret in football has finally been revealed: Erling Haaland will join Manchester City this summer for £ 51 million ($ 63 million).
Yet even though everyone knew this deal was coming, his confirmation still shocked the football world.
And how could you not?
Haaland is one of the new superstars of the game, a goal-scoring machine, and is now joining an already brilliant team that lacks only one thing: the prolific number 9.
Don’t be confused: Haaland leading the sleek side of Pep Guardiola’s City is a daunting prospect for the rest of Europe.
Indeed, the consequences will be fascinating, as this has the potential to be an agreement that defines an era and that could have a number of conclusions.
So who are the likely winners and losers of Haaland’s imminent move to Manchester? …
Winner: Man City Owners
The owners of Manchester City from Abu Dhabi have spent almost 2 billion pounds (2.5 billion dollars) on players since they completed the takeover of the club in 2008.
During that time, they made a number of big signatures. Just last summer, they broke the British transfer record and rewarded Jack Grealish of Aston Villa for £ 100 million ($ 140 million).
However, the deal with Haaland is different. This is the striker that every elite club dreamed of signing.
But the reality is that none of them could compete with City – and the financial package they managed to put together in a tough economic climate for many of their rivals.
Cities think this is a great job, and certainly from their perspective.
Haaland averaged a goal in the Bundesliga. He has the best minute-to-goal ratio in Champions League history.
Oh, and he’s still only 21 years old. He’ll just get better.
Still, City managed to sign him for almost half of the money Chelsea paid for Romelu Lukaku last summer.
Of course, there are many other fees and factors involved in this transfer, but no matter how you look at it, City Football Group got Guardiola Galactico at a reduced price.
The size of the fee will undoubtedly be a source of frustration at Signal Iduna Park for some time to come.
Of course, Dortmund knew what he was getting into when he signed with Haaland, represented by Mino Raiola, of Red Bull Salzburg in January 2019 (and they returned to the same Austrian club to sign an exciting replacement in Karim Adeyemi).
The € 20 million (£ 17 million / $ 21 million) bargain fee for Haaland comes with a lot of warnings. Raiola, let us remind you, had a career plan for his client and he wanted to make it as easy as possible for one of the European super clubs to sign a contract with the Norwegian national team player.
The exact details of the alleged redemption clause were never revealed either GOAL he always claimed it was always more of a gentleman’s deal anyway.
However, although it was considered inevitable that BVB would have to let the deadline go in 2022, and for far less money than the current rate, the final fee still seems astonishingly low.
As Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke said CNN, “Sometimes it’s a good job; sometimes it’s not that good.” This definitely falls into the latter category.
Dortmund can claim to have received a decent return on their initial investment in the young striker who scored 85 goals in 88 appearances, helping them win the DFB-Cup along the way, but, at the same time, they also have a right to feel short-changed after lost the most desirable number 9 in world football by just £ 51 million.
One hopes that they did not agree to such a gentleman’s agreement with Adeyemi’s agent …
Winner: Pep Guardiola
City are barely struggling to score. Yet they have scored 140 times in all competitions this season.
However, as Guardiola himself admitted, he had to improvise for lack of a more orthodox center forward. Even Gabriel Jesus proved to be a more effective winger than the striker.
Gone are the days when we had to ask Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling or even Kevin De Bruyne to serve as a ‘fake nine’.
Guardiola is now in possession of one of the deadliest finishers in the game today, and Haaland should add a whole new attacking dimension to City’s attacking game.
The Norwegian will add a terrifying physical threat ahead, but this striker is also blessed with great technique and fast pace.
Haaland still has to work in certain areas of his game, but only his presence will attract the attention of markers, creating space for Foden & Co.
The Leeds-born striker has had a worrying amount of muscle injuries lately, but if he stays in shape, it’s hard to see him not scoring at least 30 goals next season, especially considering he’ll be serviced, among others, by the world’s most creative attacking midfielder at De Bruyne.
Some experts have already rushed to point out that former Barca Guardiola boss left Zlatan Ibrahimovic after a similar seismic transfer by Sweden to Camp Nou, but let’s not forget that another great man, Robert Lewandowski, has scored 67 times in his two seasons under the Catalan. coach.
Let’s face it, Guardiola has only one downside: he no longer has an excuse not to win the Champions League next year!
Losers: Real Madrid
Madrid, of course, interrupted City’s hopes of winning this season’s tournament, but Florentino Perez will right now cast envious and probably bitter glances in the direction of the Etihad.
As GOAL registered a month ago, The Los Blancos believed they were capable of signing both Haaland and Kylian Mbappe this summer.
Now, however, there is a clear possibility that it will not end with either.
Mbappe’s move to Madrid via a free transfer seemed a formality, and the League champions were said to be “99 per cent” confident of winning Paris Saint-Germain superstar.
However, recent reports coming from France suggest that the World Cup winner is, at the very least, rethinking.
Mbappe’s mother fired Le Parisien’s claims that her son has agreed a lucrative two-year extension with PSG, but then added that he had not yet decided to leave either.
Still, if Mbappe still stays at Princes Park, it would be a disaster for Perez, who has been building on the stellar summer signature for the past few years, practicing an unusually prudent approach to transfers.
Madrid told the media that they were worried about Haaland’s salary demands and recent injuries, but it is doubtful that they would have signed him harder if they had known that Mbappe could stay at PSG.
Loser: Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp would certainly prefer Haaland to end up in Madrid. At least then he would have to take care of him only in the Champions League.
As it is, Liverpool’s hopes of winning a second Premier League before their legendary German coach leaves in 2026 have scored a real hit.
The Reds are currently tied at the top of the table with City, but they played another game, which means Guardiola’s team is still expected to win its fourth title in five seasons.
With Haaland on the road now, the current champions will start the 2022-23 campaign as big favorites to continue their dominance in the English game.
When Klopp was asked about the prospects of signing with Haaland SportBild last month, he replied, “We’re not going to go there. The numbers involved are just crazy. We’re not going to have anything to do with it. No way.”
Now it remains to be seen if Liverpool have as little hope of challenging City for next season’s title.
“He’s a real beast,” Klopp said of Haaland after winning Tuesday night at Aston Villa. “Unfortunately, really good signing.”
Of course, Haaland’s move to Manchester was no surprise to Klopp, or anyone else in the Premier League. They knew he was coming.
Still, whether he will have an idea how to stop him is another question.