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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Dan Marsh

Cristiano Ronaldo transfer acts as warning as Erling Haaland's Man City exit plan emerges

Erling Haaland has made a seismic impact in the Premier League since joining Manchester City - but it's already beginning to seem as though the Norwegian hotshot is not planning on gracing us with his presence on these shores for too long.

The 22-year-old plundered a remarkable 86 goals in 89 outings for Borussia Dortmund and has looked just as irrepressible since linking up with Pep Guardiola's team. Haaland has already smashed top-flight records after netting 14 goals in 10 games, and the race for the Golden Boot appears to be a foregone conclusion with the ex-RB Salzburg prodigy wreaking havoc on Premier League defences.

Haaland and Manchester City were a marriage that was always destined to be a resounding success; Europe's most clinical striker being paired up with, arguably, Europe's best footballing team was never likely to disappoint.

But regardless of the heights that City and Haaland may reach in the coming years, the striker's father, Alf-Inge has already heavily hinted that his son has aspirations of achieving greatness with other European heavyweights in the not too distant future.

Speaking on the documentary 'Haaland: The Big Decision', he said: "I think Erling wants to prove his abilities in all leagues. Then he can stay there [Manchester City] for three or four years at the most. He could be, for example, two-and-a-half years in Germany, two-and-a-half years in England and then in Spain, Italy, France, right?"

And although Manchester City are unlikely to fret over that stance right now, they only need look across to their neighbours, Manchester United, to realise that there is sometimes an air of inevitability when these scenarios emerge.

Join the debate! Do you think Man City will be able to keep hold of Haaland long-term? Let us know here.

Cristiano Ronaldo was lured to Real Madrid after a dazzling first spell at Manchester United (Getty Images)

United encountered a similar issue with Cristiano Ronaldo during his first spell at the club. Much like Haaland, Ronaldo had elevated his game to new heights and was eager to make history with other footballing superpowers across Europe.

Unsurprisingly, United were reluctant to part with their talisman. Sir Alex Ferguson was adamant that the club would not buckle in the wake of fierce interest from Real Madrid and he did, to his credit, manage to stave off their interest for 12 months.

But the lure of playing for Real Madrid at the Bernabeu had already seduced Ronaldo. A year after United stood firm, the Premier League giants relented and gave Ronaldo the green light to leave Old Trafford in a then-record £80million deal.

Manchester United were at the peak of their powers when Real Madrid came calling, just as Manchester City are now under Guardiola. But ultimately, it made no difference.

And although the reigning Premier League champions have plenty of time on their side, it is hard to see them faring any better than their bitter rivals did back in 2009 if a similar situation does come to fruition with Haaland.

Haaland has committed to Manchester City for five years. The club's standing around the world compared to the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona could look very different by then. But pivotally, Haaland's aspirations may not - and that is only likely to lead to one outcome.

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