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Sports: Buyer beware! Should Haaland's injury issues worry Man City?

              Sports: Buyer beware! Should Haaland's injury issues worry Man City? 

              Sports: Buyer beware! Should Haaland's injury issues worry Man City? 

The prolific Norwegian seems perfect for Pep Guardiola's striker-less side, but the 21-year-old has been plagued by muscular problems this season

It seems that even Erling Haaland has grown weary of the incessant speculation surrounding his future. 
During the most recent international break, he asked Norway coach Stale Solbakken to be excused from media duties.

"I see no reason not to respect that. When we meet next time [in June], Erling will be sitting here answering questions from you.
Then that saga will be over."

That "saga" should actually end long before the summer, with Manchester City imminently expected to confirm Haaland's summer switch to the Etihad Stadium. 

It will come as a relief to everyone involved. 

              Sports: Buyer beware! Should Haaland's injury issues worry Man City? 

Having missed out on some high-profile transfer targets in the past, City will be ecstatic to have landed one of the most exciting young talents in world football; a potential generational talent.

Indeed, it is presently impossible for the club's fans not to get excited by the prospect of Pep Guardiola adding a prolific centre-forward to a team overflowing with creative attacking talents.

Dortmund will also be glad to see the back of the media circus that has surrounded Haaland since he joined from Red Bull Salzburg just over two years ago.

They would, of course, have loved to have held on to Haaland, to have built a team around him for the next 10 years, but that was just never going to happen. 

Manchester City have agreed personal terms with Erling Haaland and could complete a deal in the next week, according to the Daily Mail 👀

              Sports: Buyer beware! Should Haaland's injury issues worry Man City? 

Dortmund never had an issue agreeing to let him leave in the summer of 2022 for €75 million (£63m/$83m).

All they requested was that his inevitable move be finalised as quickly as possible and with the minimum of fuss, which is why they set a deadline for this whole affair to be concluded.

"We want a decision as soon as possible," Dortmund sporting director Sebastian Kehl told Sky Sport Germany. 

"We are in talks, but there is nothing more to say about it for now. I don't want to open some new talking points about Erling. We have a very good, trusting relationship. 

"But the sooner there is a decision, the better it will be. And I hope it will be timely."

Haaland will too because doubts over his fitness are leading to doubts over his market value. 

Obviously, €75m is not a lot of money in the current economic climate for a 21-year-old who has broken one Champions League record after another since exploding onto the scene at Salzburg, and scored a ridiculous 82 goals in 85 appearances for Dortmund.

In truth, the transfer fee looks like a bargain for a potential generational talent.

However, the true cost of any deal for Haaland would be far higher when his salary demands (€50m gross per annum) and agent fees (potentially as high as €70m) are taken into account.

And that is why, as GOAL revealed earlier this week, Real Madrid are no longer fully convinced of the merits of signing Haaland. 

Real Madrid aren't willing to agree to the conditions from Erling Haaland's agents, as they don't want to anger any current players who would earn less than Haaland 😳

              Sports: Buyer beware! Should Haaland's injury issues worry Man City? 

Secondly, Madrid are concerned by the number of niggling injuries Haaland has sustained this season.

This, remember, is a club that in recent years has been badly burned by superstar signings blighted by fitness problems, namely Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard. 

Florentino Perez, for all his fondness for making grand statements in the transfer market, does not want to break the bank for another player who could end up spending more time in the treatment room than on the pitch.

At this stage, of course, it must be stressed that there is nothing to suggest that Haaland is set to be plagued by injuries for the remainder of what should be a glorious, goal-laden career.

However, given the money involved, Madrid's concern is unsurprising, and not only because of Haaland's fitness issues this season, but also the way in which they are being handled and discussed at Dortmund.

One thing that should be pointed out straight away is that Haaland is hardly an anomaly at Dortmund this season. 

Marco Rose's squad has been decimated by injuries in 2021-22, which helps explain why they are nine points behind Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, failed to get out of their Champions League group, and were subsequently knocked out of the Europa League by Rangers.

              Sports: Buyer beware! Should Haaland's injury issues worry Man City? 

What's more, they have suffered an unusually high amount of muscular problems, but although they have looked into the matter in the hope of finding an explanation, they can see no pattern.

Dortmund insist that each injury must be viewed in a separate light, on a case-by-case basis.

In Haaland's case, he has been sidelined three times by muscular problems, missing 10 games in total.
"He explained to me why," Solbakken told reporters. "He explained to me in a nice and factual way, and a very convincing way that he needs it. 

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