Manchester City are still looking at signing Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland, but are hesitant to directly trigger his release clause and pay the £63 million in one go, according to reports.
According to sources close to the matter, the 21-year-release-old’s clause is only active until the end of April, enabling suitors like City and Real Madrid a short window to telegraph their interest in a trade.
Manchester City is not concerned about Haaland’s price tag and believes the striker is worth far more than £63 million, although 90min has gathered that Pep Guardiola’s side would prefer not to pay the full amount in one go.
Any party who triggers his release clause must pay up right now, but City is hoping to reach an agreement with Dortmund that would see them pay a little more than that, but spread the money out over a longer period of time.
Dortmund is open to such an approach, as 90min reported in November because they want to maximize the amount they can bring in by selling Haaland.
The significant agency fees that must be paid to Mino Raiola and Haaland’s father, former City employee Alf-Inge, are part of the City’s strategy. Club executives are ready to meet such demands, and they are currently working to restrict their immediate spending by negotiating a payment plan with Dortmund.
City has also stated that it will not pay Haaland more than current top earner Kevin De Bruyne, whose deal is valued at roughly £450,000 after add-ons. Representatives for the Norwegian have previously downplayed the importance of money in determining his next step.
At the Etihad Stadium, there is optimism that City will be able to take advantage of Real’s uncertainties. Los Blancos are focused on getting Kylian Mbappe and are divided between buying another high-profile attacker and keeping Karim Benzema, who is 34 years old and still playing at a near-Ballon d’Or level.
In other news, Haaland has been linked with a move to Barcelona and PSG, while Bayern Munich sees the Norway international as a perfect alternative for Robert Lewandowski, who is weighing his options and is interested in joining Barça.
Manchester United is instead interested in Benfica’s Darwin Nunez, while Liverpool has withdrawn from the contest due to the hefty price required, but 90min understands that Chelsea is still open to a deal.
Chelsea was interested in Haaland last summer before opting for Romelu Lukaku, but with the Belgian’s long-term future at the club uncertain, the Blues could still be interested in signing him.
Due to Dortmund’s requirement for a decision from Haaland by the end of the month, Chelsea’s takeover would have to be expedited in order for a deal to be viable. The club is now unable to pursue transfers, however, this restriction will be lifted once the new owners are in place.