Ian McGarry and Duncan Castles have been speaking on the latest episode of The Transfer Window podcast, where they provided an update on Manchester City’s reported pursuit of Erling Haaland.
The Borussia Dortmund striker has been linked with several of the continent’s top clubs ahead of the summer window.
Haaland’s agent Mino Raiola and his father were recently spotted having talks with the presidents of Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid, but Manchester City are also thought to be in the running for his signature.
City beat Dortmund in midweek as the two clubs played out the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie leading to some complimentary pre-match comments from Pep Guardiola towards the 20-year-old, and McGarry thinks they were a sign of the Spaniard’s interest in the youngster.
He said: “Interesting, also, that Pep Guardiola described Haaland as an amazing player. ‘Look at the statistics,’ he said, for a 20-year-old in terms of the numbers of goals, etc, etc – I think. indicating even though Guardiola tends not to want to talk about players at other clubs before City start their interest, but clearly, with Sergio Aguero leaving this summer, then they must have an interest in Haaland, regardless of his price.”
Castles replied: “Interesting that he’s high on Manchester City’s list, interesting to see if they do that deal. And you have to say that financially, despite what Guardiola was saying this week, they have the greatest firepower to be able to pay the commission, the salary and the transfer fee that’s going to be involved in doing that deal.
“Well, if they bring him in, Guardiola can turn them into a rounded player who improves Manchester City and turns into the type of player we’re talking about as that head-to-head candidate with Kylian Mbappe to be the successor to Ronaldo and Messi as the world’s number-one player.”
TIF Thoughts on Haaland to City…
Following the announcement from City’s all-time top goalscorer Sergio Aguero, revealing that he is set to depart the Etihad Stadium at the end of the current campaign, the likes of Harry Kane, Kylian Mbappe and Haaland have been linked with replacing the South American.
However, in a recent press conference, Guardiola claimed that there is a good chance the Cityzens won’t be able to bring in anyone to offset Aguero’s imminent departure this summer due to the financial impact that coronavirus has had upon football.
Given how badly the ongoing pandemic has affected football’s finances and the fact that Haaland’s contract contains a buyout clause for just €75m, which becomes active in the summer of 2022, it’s hard to imagine the Norway international exiting the Signal Iduna Park this season.