Man City favourites in Erling Haaland race as Pep Guardiola pushes hard for signature

Premier League title race: Man City stretch lead at top

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Manchester City are in pole position to sign Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland this summer, despite mass interest among several European heavyweights. The Norway international will be available for £64million and could follow in his father, Alf-Inge Haaland’s footsteps.

Haaland has only been in Germany since January 2020, but a buy-out clause in his contract that cooled Manchester United’s interest at RB Salzburg means he presents a summer coup.

The 21-year-old’s freakish goalscoring habits in Austria made his step up to Dortmund all the more intriguing.

But he has smashed all expectations and more, registering 76 goals and 17 assists in 75 appearances for the Bundesliga giants.

According to The Athletic, Man City plan to sign a left-back, central midfielder, and striker, with the latter taking priority.

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Haaland is the Premier League champions’ primary target, and Pep Guardiola will ‘push hard’ to secure his services.

City plan to meet the prolific frontman’s representatives over the coming months to attempt to lure him to east Manchester.

But they are unsurprisingly in the presence of elite company in the race for his widely-craved signature.

The Citizens face fierce competition from Spain as Real Madrid and Barcelona look for a signing to put them back on the map in Europe.

However, Real’s pursuit of Kylian Mbappe could thwart their Haaland interest, whilst there are doubts over Barcelona’s capability of financially competing.

Bayern Munich are also in the running and could see him as Robert Lewandowski’s long-term successor, and Paris Saint-Germain might line him up to replace Mbappe if he’s Real-bound.

City’s rivals United are considered outsiders, not just because of Haaland’s love for his hometown club, Leeds United.

Despite the Red Devils’ long-standing interest, the feeling doesn’t seem to be neutral.

Alternatives on Guardiola’s shortlist are thought to include Real Sociedad’s Alexander Isak and Fiorentina sensation Dusan Vlahovic.

And despite Harry Kane turning 29 in July, City could restore their interest in signing him if Tottenham demanded a more realistic fee.

It’s set to be a big year for the blue side of Manchester, and not just on the pitch, with more significant investment in playing staff a certainty.

Haaland is the Sergio Aguero replacement that City supporters dream of and rival fans fear.

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