Men's Team

Chairman: Haaland signing highlights City’s strength

Khaldoon Al Mubarak believes the signing of Erling Haaland is evidence of Manchester City’s strength on and off the pitch.

A deal in principle has been agreed with Borussia Dortmund for the transfer of the striker, who will join the Club on 1 July subject to personal terms being finalised.

The 21-year-old has developed into one of the hottest prospects in world football in Germany, where he scored 86 goals in 89 games, and the Chairman is delighted to have secured the services of a forward he feels is among the very best in the game.

The Chairman says every major club will have been keen to sign the Norwegian and is confident City have got themselves a ‘phenomenal’ player who can deliver some great moments.

“Haaland, from his early days in Norway and then moving on to Dortmund, has been on our radar for at least four or five years,” he explained.

“We’ve been following his progression over the years and seen his transition from a very talented, high quality, high potential young player to one of the most, if not the most, exciting striker in the world.

“He is a very, very unique, incredibly talented striker that I think the whole world has been looking at.

“I would say every big team in the world wanted [him] to join and we’re absolutely delighted that Haaland chose to join Manchester City.

“I think it’s a testament to all the great work that’s been happening at this club.

“It’s a testament to the quality of this team and it’s a testament to Haaland not just being a great player but I think a very smart player that saw the potential of what he can do and how he can develop further professionally, being part of this team, being coached by Pep Guardiola and with the infrastructure that we have.

“The physical infrastructure, the training facilities, the stadium, and then, more importantly than all of that, the fans. I think he has a connection to the fans.

“I think for us, it’s a super decision. We are getting truly, I think, a phenomenal player that will give us great memories.”

Haaland is the second striker City have signed early in 2022.

He follows in the footsteps of Julian Alvarez, who penned a five-and-a-half-year deal with the Club in January and remains on loan at River Plate, where he scored six goals in an 8-1 Copa Libertadores victory over Allianz Lima earlier this month.

The duo’s arrival will provide Guardiola with centre-forward options he has not had since the departure of Sergio Aguero last summer and the Chairman feels the capture of Alvarez in particular highlights the excellence of City’s scouting department.

“I think we can look back with a high level of confidence in the area we wanted to strengthen the most, which is that striker position,” he said.

“We have in Haaland, arguably the best number nine in the world at the right age.

“In Haaland we have invested in that striker for the future, and in Alvarez I think we’ve found one of the most talented, young strikers in South America.

“Replacing Sergio is a big task. But it’s not something we’ve not been preparing for, for a couple of years.

“I think we have a very strong scouting system. Our scouting team has shown over the years, I think tremendous capability, in analysing and really scouting the type of talent that would fit our club and our team.

“You look at Julian Alvarez. I think this is an example of the hard work of our scouting team, a lot of weeks and months of follow up, analysis and then ultimately making the right decision at the right time when the market opened in the way that it opened.

“I am absolutely delighted that in the case of both Julian and Haaland we were able to come in early, [and] do our business early.”

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