Manchester City receives Borussia Dortmund and its superstar Erling Haaland in the quarter-finals of the Champions League on Tuesday – even though the Norwegian prodigy no longer hides his desire to change clubs in the next transfer window, and why not, moreover, with his opponent in the evening.
He walks in the Bundesliga and the Champions League. Erling Haaland, a 20-year-old Norwegian prodigy, has an appointment with Manchester City on Tuesday April 5, in the quarter-final first leg of the Champions League, to write the rest of his story. A nascent legend whose sequel could take place far from Germany, while his entourage no longer hides the attacker’s desire to change air. And why not to Manchester City, where the father of the blond colossus ended his career?
Where it goes, records pass
At 20, Erling Haaland continues to accumulate records. With Austrian club Salzburg, in the fall of 2019 he first became the first U-20 player to score at least one goal in his first five Champions League appearances.
For his first group stage, he scored eight times, including a hat-trick against Genk, which made him the third youngest player to achieve this feat in C1, after legends Raul and Wayne Rooney.
Too good to stay in the city of Mozart, the child prodigy is transferred from January 2020 to Dortmund. Where he becomes a phenomenon in 15 days, with … seven achievements for his first three matches!
He is also the youngest player to have scored 20 times in the Champions League, and this in only 14 matches (Cristiano Ronaldo had reached 20 goals after 56 matches, Messi and Mbappé after 40).
20 – Erling Haaland has scored 20 goals in 14 Champions League appearances, becoming the fastest player to reach this bar in the competition, in 10 games less than the previous record holder (Harry Kane 24). Staggering. #BVBSEV #bvbsevilla pic.twitter.com/hVCErn1lvi
– OptaJean (@OptaJean) March 9, 2021
This season, when it comes to the quarter-finals, he is at the top of the C1 scorers standings with ten goals scored in six matches, having missed two group stage matches. He is also the first player in history to score four consecutive braces in the premier competition. Manchester City will have to be careful, the series is underway …
Auction operation throughout Europe
The Norwegian is under contract with Borussia Dortmund until 2024. However, the Rhineland club are having a difficult year in the Bundesliga, despite Halaland’s 21 goals in 22 appearances. Currently fifth in the German league, Borussia may not qualify for the Champions League next year.
In that case, managers will likely have to let go of Erling Haaland, already courted by Europe’s biggest clubs, ready to pull out the checkbook to avoid seeing the serial striker step up the competition.
A desire for elsewhere that the Haaland clan, represented by his father, the former pro player Alf-Inge as well as his agent, Mino Raiola, no longer hides. The two men began a tour of Europe to discuss with the clubs and raise the stakes.
The seduction plan thus began Thursday in Spain, between Barcelona and Madrid. According to the Spanish press, Alf-Inge Haaland and Mino Raiola joined Barcelona on Thursday from Nice. After meeting Barça’s new president, Joan Laporta, the two representatives returned to Madrid in the early afternoon, where they visited the Valdebebas training center and had an exchange with the sports leaders of the “House white “, but not President Florentino Perez, absent. Two meetings that lasted between three and four hours each.
The more cautious English
After the Spanish stopover, the two men went to canvass the English clubs, which – in public – minimize their desire to see the Norwegian disembark. Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel declined to discuss the London club’s potential interest in the 1.94m forward on Friday, but assured Mino Raiola was trying to raise the stakes.
“He’s a Borussia Dortmund player, and of course there are a lot of rumors around him and his agent (…) And it looks like they’re creating a race to (recruit) the player, ”noted the German technician.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, his Norwegian counterpart from Manchester United, who had Haaland under his command at Molde, also chose to calm speculation about the possible charm offensive led by the Mancunian club, who were close to signing Haaland instead. of Red Bull Salzburg in August 2018.
Manchester City, an ideal base ?
However, it seems that Erling Haaland has caught the eye of the other Manchester club. According to information from the Mirror, the Norwegian striker is now the Citizens’ top priority to replace Sergio Agüero, City’s top scorer in history, who will leave the club at the end of the season.
Such a transfer would even have a strong symbolic aspect since his father, Alf-Inge Haaland, spent the last three years of his career there, in the early 2000s, before a knee injury forced him to retire early.
Faced with other European teams, Manchester City would have a trump card up its sleeve. In the agreements concluded during the transfer of Jadon Sancho to Dortmund, the Mancuniens inserted a simulated option right: in the event of an auction on the same player involving other European cylinders, City could win the bet with an offer of 15 million euros less than that of others.
However, Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola was keen to temper the wishes of observers already sending the colossus to the sky blue, citing on the one hand the financial losses linked to the Covid-19 and on the other hand resources already well sufficient within its workforce to replace the departure of Agüero.
“I don’t know, it’s a question for his agent, for Dortmund. I understand that you ask it today, yesterday and tomorrow, he is an exceptional goalscorer, the numbers speak for themselves, but it would be inappropriate for me to speak of a player from another club. But even a blind person would realize that he is a fantastic player, no need to be a manager “, he explained in a press conference, more concerned by the need to prevent him from scoring against his team on Tuesday night. “It’s mathematical: scorers have more chances to score in the box, the less minutes they spend in the box, the less chance they have to score …”
Despite the health instructions and barrier gestures, observers will not fail to scrutinize and interpret Tuesday the slightest interaction between Haaland and Guardiola.