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Premier League: Haaland deal could elevate City further

Manchester City are reportedly close to signing Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund, with the Norway forward set to become the highest-paid player in British football history.

The Citizens are ready to trigger the 75m euro release clause in his Dortmund contract and one of the most protracted transfer sagas looks like it is about to end.

Haaland has long been linked with a move to one of the world powerhouses and now he is set to follow in his dad Alfie's footsteps by playing for City.

City are currently 2/5 to retain the Premier League title and 5/4 to win the Champions League for the first time in their history, and the arrival of Haaland will surely give their chances of dominating English football a massive boost.

Guardiola finally getting his man

It is no secret that Pep Guardiola has been searching for a new centre-forward despite many of his players filling the "false nine" role admirably this season.

Harry Kane was strongly touted for a move to City last summer, but a deal could not be agreed and the England captain stayed put at Tottenham.

Sergio Aguero was the leading light at City for a number of years and his departure meant they have been playing without a recognised centre-forward for much of the current campaign, with Gabriel Jesus mainly being used out wide or off the bench.

This season, City's top scorer is Riyad Mahrez, who has scored 22 across all competitions, and he is 6/5 to score at any time against Brighton on Wednesday evening.

That is a very good total, but one question has to be how many goals a natural centre-forward would have scored in a team that creates so many opportunities?

Haaland a frightening prospect

The sky genuinely is the limit for someone like Haaland, particularly with how many goals he has scored in his short career to date.

At just 21, Haaland's levels have been that rarely seen in any player before and he has scored 82 in 85 matches for Dortmund since making the move to the club in January 2020.

With the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden, and Bernardo Silva creating opportunities for him, he must be excited at the prospect of potentially breaking goalscoring records in the Premier League.

City need a goalscorer - perhaps one is the last piece of the jigsaw - and they certainly have their sights set on one of the best in Haaland.

Guardiola to tinker with style?

Maybe one question about Haaland is whether he can play in a Guardiola-style system, where the centre forward needs to do much more than score goals.

That is one of the reasons why, from midway through Guardiola's tenure, Aguero was used more sparingly - the Spaniard once famously said he wants his side to be a team of midfielders and Haaland will be expected to chip in.

However, much of the Norwegian's game is based on his pace, power, and movement in behind defences.

With many defences operating a low block against City, Haaland may need to improve on his link-up play, but for a player whose reputation has rocketed at almost unparalleled levels, that might not be too much of an ask.

Knock-on effect

With so many players' futures seemingly uncertain, one deal has the potential to greatly affect the dynamic of the transfer market.

Now Haaland looks to be moving to City, which takes away one option for Kane if he still fancies his chances of moving elsewhere in order to have a better chance of winning trophies.

Real Madrid were in for Haaland too at one stage and now they could turn their attentions elsewhere - focusing all their energy on bringing in PSG superstar Kylian Mbappe.

Bayern Munich were another club linked with the Norwegian, so it looks as though they will have to try and squeeze more mileage from Polish ace Robert Lewandowski.

Whatever happens, this deal is sure to be the beginning of an almost chaotic summer in the world transfer market.

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