Manchester City on Tuesday confirmed that they have struck a deal with Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund and Erling Haaland will join the Etihad club on July 1. While the details of the deal are not official yet, the Premier League title-favourites are tipped to aquire the Norwegian striker’s services €60 million ($63 million) for five years.
Haaland comes to the Premier League after spending about four years in Germany, where he scored 85 goals in 88 appearances for Dortmund and 29 for Red Bull Salzburg. But Manchester is not new territory for him. The 21-year-old’s father Alf-Inge played for City from 2000 to 2003. He also played for the Nottingham Forest and Leeds in the 1990s. The Haaland’s were in England during the period.
Haaland was born in England — in Leeds, which is a short drive from Manchester in the north of the country. As a kid, Erling Haaland was pictured wearing a City jersey.
A family disaster in 2004 forced the Haalands to leave England. Erling was three at the time when his parents took him to their hometown in Norway. This was where he spent the rest of his childhood. Alf-Inge scored 18 Premier League goals.
His career ended after a knee injury. Alf-Inge Haaland had also suffered another injury to his other leg that was caused by an infamous tackle by Manchester United captain Roy Keane
Now following his fathers footsteps, Haaland will arrive at the Etihad, hoping to make noise in Europe. He is also expected to play a key role in the club’s pursuit of a first Champions League title.
“I wish he was coming back home here to Leeds — this is his birthplace — but I understand the decision for him to go to Man City,” said Leeds manager Jesse Marsch, an American who coached Haaland when they were at Austrian team Salzburg.
“Credit to them for getting that done,” Marsch added. “I always wish the best for Erling, he is an incredible human being.”