Erling Haaland: Leaves Borussia Dortmund and goes to Manchester City

Dhis process seemed almost excessively conspiratorial. Borussia Dortmund announced on Monday that Erling Haaland would use the day off from training to “decide personal matters”. On Tuesday, the Belgian newspaper Nieuwsblad reported that the Norwegian attacker had undergone the mandatory medical check-up at Erasmus Hospital in Brussels. This was to avoid the uproar that would have arisen if Haaland had flown to Manchester.

Tuesday afternoon it was official, which was no longer a secret, but has been treated as such for the past few days: Haaland is moving to Manchester City next season. The Bundesliga football club and the English Premier League club said there were still contractual details to be agreed.

Ferran Soriano, CEO of Premier League leaders and close confidant to coach Pep Guardiola, had previously informed BVB’s CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke that the English would activate the exit clause agreed in Haaland’s contract.

Haaland (right) played his penultimate Bundesliga match against Greuther Fürth

Credit: AFP / CHRISTOF STACHE

As a result, Dortmund’s hands were tied: the transfer took place for a fixed fee of 75 million euros. Dortmund’s sports director Sebastian Kehl had already announced on Sunday in Sport1’s “double pass” that the long-awaited transfer would probably take place this week. However, he had not yet mentioned Manchester City’s name.

Klopp impressed with the Haaland transfer

In any case, it is a change that makes you sit up and notice – especially the competition from the English champions. “It will not weaken her, certainly not,” said Jürgen Klopp. The German coach of Liverpool FC, who and his team are three points behind Citizen with two games left, fears it will be even harder in the future to challenge their worst opponent for the title.

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Jürgen Klopp, Liverpool

“I think enough has been said about this transfer. I know there is a lot of money talk out there, but this transfer will set a new standard,” he told Sky UK. Klopp recently extended his contract with Liverpool until 2026. He did so in the knowledge that “City will not stop developing”.

In fact, it can be assumed that with Haaland, Guardiola’s team will become even more unpredictable for their opponents. “Manchild”, as the 1.94 meter tall striker is often called in England, combines endurance with dynamism. “He has many strengths and is working intensively on his weaknesses,” BVB coach Marco Rose said of Haaland, who switched from Austrian first division club RB Salzburg to Dortmund in January 2019.

Insane target percentage

Since then, he has scored 61 times in 66 Bundesliga matches. If Haaland is used with a through ball and he has space, he can hardly be stopped. However, he also improved markedly in combination games and in headers during his time at Dortmund. “Will, quality and commitment” characterize him, Rose says.

“Erling is a goal machine. He will consistently be among the world’s three best strikers over the next few years, says BVB’s defense chief Mats Hummels. It was therefore also clear that only a few clubs would be suitable for Haaland as the next station. There was a tender competition, but due to the huge sums that Haaland, his father Alf-Inge and his late adviser Mino Raiola should have called in, the field of participants was not particularly large.

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Mino Raiola, who died in early May after a long illness, played a key role in the Haaland transfer

Credit: AFP / VALERY HACHE

FC Bayern and FC Barcelona, ​​who are said to have considered at least one commitment, were therefore never seriously involved. The same was true of Liverpool FC. “We are not going there. The numbers in the room are crazy – they have nothing to do with them. No chance,” Klopp explained in an interview with “Sport-Bild” in early April.

Adeyemi as Haaland replacement

In the end, there were only two interested people left at Manchester City and Real Madrid. The Spaniards, who also want to sign French national team player Kylian Mbappé for the coming season, did not see the urgent need due to Karim Benzema’s continued strong development. With the fee and salary, the total volume of the transfer was to amount to 300 million euros.

However, it will not be easy for Dortmund to compensate for the future absence of their goal scorer. However, it is by no means the case that they were surprised. “We have been playing football in Dortmund for 113 years and we have managed 111 of those years without Erling Haaland,” Hans-Joachim Watzke told CNN. The CEO pointed out that it had already been possible on several occasions to absorb the departure of well-known strikers. “We had Robert Lewandowski, and he left us in 2014. Then came Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and then Erling,” Watzke said. You can count on it: “We’ll find the next 100 percent.”

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In fact, Borussia have for some time been looking for a center-forward who would then form the new attack alongside winger Karim Adeyemi. The 20-year-old was written off on Tuesday for a fee of around 30 million euros from where Haaland came from: Salzburg. Adeyemi signed a contract that runs until the summer of 2027.

On Saturday, when BVB plays the last Bundesliga match of the season against Hertha BSC, Haaland will wear the Dortmund jersey for the last time.

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