Manchester City officials have been left staggered after discovering their capture of Erling Haaland will cost less than Manchester United ’s Fred.
The 21-year-old has agreed in principle to join Man City ahead of next season in a £51million transfer from Borussia Dortmund, with Haaland set to sign a five-year contract. The fee is significantly lower than the £64m release clause written into the striker’s contract, underlining how City have snagged themselves a bargain — a whole £1m cheaper than Brazil international Fred.
Haaland, who scored 85 goals in 89 games for Dortmund in his two-and-a-half seasons in Germany, has experienced a rapid rise to become one of Europe’s most-feared marksmen. He was close to signing for Man United at one point before joining Dortmund. However, his agent Mino Raiola did not want to include a release clause in the deal.
Red Devils will be watching with envy as Haaland takes to the Etihad Stadium, knowing that he is less expensive than Fred. The Brazilian arrived from Shakhtar Donetsk for £52m in 2018 and even snubbed City in order to seal his move to Old Trafford, but his time in England has produced mixed performances and zero trophies.
That very fact has proved amusing to staff members on the blue side of Manchester, who are clearly delighted with Haaland’s impending arrival. According to ESPN, the club rate Haaland in the €200m (£180m) bracket and to clinch his signing for a third of that amount represents a shrewd piece of business.
What’s more, City were helped in their funding of Haaland’s transfer with the sale of Ferran Torres, who joined Barcelona for £55m in January. But a little-known fact is that they also received £12m from Dortmund for a sell-on fee as part of their deal to sell Jadon Sancho.
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The 21-year-old joined United in a £73m deal but has struggled in his first season, scoring only five goals in all competitions. And it may infuriate some United fans to know that while Sancho has flattered to deceive, the club’s funds have gone straight into City’s pocket to sign his ex-team-mate.
Despite reports suggesting Haaland would immediately become City’s highest earner on an eye-watering deal worth £500,000-a-week, insiders have denied he will be earning more than stars such as Kevin De Bruyne when he joins officially on July 1. It is believed Haaland will be matching De Bruyne’s weekly wage of £375,000-a-week as the Norwegian is not driven by financial reward, which is still a massive wage for a player of his tender age.
The club is hoping that Haaland, the son Alf-Inge’s former City player, will be as efficient in the United States as he was in Germany after such a significant savings on the fee.