Why Erling Haaland has soft spot for Nottingham Forest and Leeds United as well as Man City
Erling Haaland will be playing in England from next season after Manchester City agreed a deal to sign him from Borussia Dortmund this summer.
The reigning Premier League champions announced on Tuesday the highly-rated 21-year-old striker would join them on July 1, subject to the completion of formalities. It is understood that the player will cost a fee of £51.1million after City triggered his release clause.
Haaland is now set to sign a five-year contract at the Etihad Stadium. A City statement read: “Manchester City can confirm we have reached an agreement in principle with Borussia Dortmund for the transfer of striker Erling Haaland to the club on July 1, 2022. The transfer remains subject to the club finalising terms with the player.”
Nottingham Forest could coming up against Haaland next term - if they can secure promotion to the top flight via the Championship play-offs or draw City in a cup competition. Steve Cooper's side take on Sheffield United in their two-legged semi-final for the chance to face Huddersfield Town or Luton Town at Wembley.
Norwegian international Haaland is the son of Alf-Inge Haaland, whose own playing career included spells with Forest, Leeds United and Man City. As a result, Haaland junior apparently has something of a soft spot for all three clubs, having been born in Leeds and spending his first few years in England before moving to Norway.
During an interview with talkSPORT in 2019, his father revealed: “He was a Leeds fan and a City fan and a Nottingham Forest fan – he followed me obviously, but that is what you do in your youth. It is different being a supporter and having a job."
His son's impending transfer ends City’s long search for a specialist centre forward, having failed in a high-profile attempt to prise Harry Kane away from Tottenham after Sergio Aguero left the club last summer. Haaland boasts impressive credentials having scored a remarkable 85 goals in 88 appearances for Dortmund since moving from RB Salzburg in January 2020.
With other clubs, notably Real Madrid, having been linked with the Norway international, City reportedly feel the deal represents “unbelievable value” for a player who could otherwise command a fee in the £150-200m bracket. It is understood the transfer fee will be paid in instalments and Haaland’s salary will not break City’s existing wage structure.
The deal was also confirmed by Dortmund, who will make good profit on a player they purchased for around £17million. A statement read: “The player Erling Haaland is close to moving from Borussia Dortmund to Manchester City Football Club. This is today’s mutual agreement in principle of all parties. The contractual details now have to be coordinated and completed.”
Haaland’s first appearances for City could now come as they play pre-season friendlies against Club America and Bayern Munich in the United States in July.