Manchester City is targetting to sign Erling Haaland in the summer to fill their vacant striker position, according to The Athletic’s David Ornstein.
City is heavily interested in luring Haaland to the Etihad but face European competitors. Meanwhile, Arsenal is chasing Fiorentina’s Dusan Vlahovic this window.
Report: Manchester City Target Erling Haaland, Arsenal Chase Dušan Vlahović
City Pushing for Erling Haaland
The frenzy towards Erling Haaland’s next destination has been never-ending since the 21-year-old established himself as one of the world’s best at Borussia Dortmund.
Now, Manchester City looks to be the favourite to sign him. They have been searching for a striker to replace Sergio Aguero since last summer. Their pursuit of Harry Kane came up short last time out and now it is reported their primary attention has switched to Haaland.
Mino Raiola, his agent, has made it clear he is keen to move his client in six months. Thus, The Athletic report the UAE-backed club plan to hold meetings with the player’s representatives in the “coming weeks and months”. They are expected to “push hard” to secure the striker.
The Norwegian’s goal tally speaks for itself: 53 goals in 54 German Bundesliga appearances and 23 goals in 19 Champions League appearances. He has 16 assists and five assists to go alongside his tallies in the two competitions.
Haaland’s strength, speed, clinical finishing, anticipation, power, awareness and other such traits make him one of the most deadlier finishes in football. Perhaps the most deadly. This makes him a target for all of European’s elite.
Competitors and Alternatives
When one of the best is available, those with the financial and persuasive resources will always attempt to pitch why they are the right fit. Manchester City’s most fierce competitor is said to be Real Madrid. However, if they acquire Kylian Mbappe this may turn Haaland away.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta is another admirer of Erling Haaland and he has not dismissed the club’s capabilities of signing the prolific forward.
“We’re definitely recovering our status,” he said at Ferran Torres’ unveiling. “Everybody in the world should get ready, as we are back as big players in the market.”
Despite his claims, whether they are legitimate players for Haaland is a different matter. The Athletic’s sources reject Barcelona’s ability to make a serious move for him.
Elsewhere, Paris Saint Germain and Bayern Munich are also potential competitors, though City believes they can pitch a better prospect. If Mbappe were to switch Paris for Madrid, a guess is this could alter the picture as PSG’s desire to push for the striker will increase.
Finally, Manchester United are interested in Haaland but there is no indication if this feeling is mutual.
If City were beaten their alternatives are said to include Real Sociedad’s Alexander Isak, Fiorentina’s Dusan Vlahovic or returning to Kane. The latter relies on a fair deal arising while Vlahovic could be out of the picture if Arsenal succeeds in their chase.
Arsenal Chase Vlahovic
Following Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s being outcasted, Alexander Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah likely leaving on a free in the summer, and Folarin Balogun joining Middlesbrough on loan, Arsenal is in the market for a striker.
Their aggressive attitude has led them to lead the race for Vlahovic. They are well-placed to match the transfer fee and his salary. In addition, they can use turn Lucas Torreira’s loan into a permanent switch if the Italians agree.
However, a stumbling block is the player’s interest in moving to the Emirates. The Athletic believe it is not his “preferred destination”. Football insiders think that a proposed transfer to Juventus would interest the player more. At this time, nothing is concrete and the circumstance can change.
His availability is helped by Fiorentina wanting to sell this window. Vlahovic’s contract expires in 18 months and he will not entertain a new deal, and his value is sky-high. The situation has placed his representatives in a powerful position where they can decide if they want to move now or wait until the summer.
If Arsenal is unable to complete their chase, Isak and Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin are listed as potential alternatives.