Manchester City have agreed a deal with Borussia Dortmund to sign star striker Erling Haaland this summer.
The reigning Premier League champions announced on Tuesday the highly-rated 21-year-old would join them on July 1, subject to the completion of formalities.
The PA news agency understands the player will cost a fee of £51.1million – less than the £63million figure reported in recent weeks – after City triggered his release clause. Haaland is now set to sign a five-year contract at the Etihad Stadium.
A City statement read: “Manchester City can confirm we have reached an agreement in principle with Borussia Dortmund for the transfer of striker Erling Haaland to the club on July 1, 2022.
“The transfer remains subject to the club finalising terms with the player.”
The deal will end City’s long search for a specialist centre forward, having failed in a high-profile attempt to prise Harry Kane away from Tottenham after Sergio Aguero left the club last summer.
Haaland, whose father Alf-Inge played for City from 2000-03, boasts impressive credentials having scored a remarkable 85 goals in 88 appearances for Dortmund since moving from RB Salzburg in January 2020.
Speculation linking City with Haaland had been gathering momentum, with reports on Monday claiming the player had already undergone a medical.
Manager Pep Guardiola was reluctant to discuss the matter when he held a press conference earlier on Tuesday but he did all but confirm a deal was imminent by saying “everybody knows the situation”.
“I’m not allowed to say anything until the deal is completely done,” he added.
Confirmation came around two hours later.
With other clubs, notably Real Madrid, having been linked with the Norway international, City feel – according to a source – the deal represents “unbelievable value” for a player who could otherwise command a fee in the £150-200million bracket.
The move has been helped by Haaland’s strong emotional attachment to City through his father while the strength of the team, style of play and reputation of Guardiola were also factors.
It is understood the transfer fee will be paid in instalments and Haaland’s salary will not break City’s existing wage structure.
City also feel the deal vindicates their decision not to pay more than they were willing for Kane, who was reportedly valued at £150million by Spurs, last year.
The deal was also confirmed by Dortmund, who will make good profit on a player they purchased for around £17million.
A statement read: “The player Erling Haaland is close to moving from Borussia Dortmund to Manchester City Football Club.
“This is today’s mutual agreement in principle of all parties. The contractual details now have to be coordinated and completed.”
Haaland’s first appearances for City could now come as they play pre-season friendlies against Club America and Bayern Munich in the United States in July.
His arrival will come with plenty of hype but Guardiola, whose side are close to securing a fourth title in five years having lacked an out-and-out striker this season, was keen to play down the significance of any one new signing.
He said: “New players always help us try to be a stronger team, but a good defender will not solve our defensive problems and one striker will not resolve the scoring problems that maybe we have.
“We have always been consistent, scoring a lot of goals and conceding few. The stats are there, we are stable in those terms but the club always has to have a vision for the future.
“That’s why with the decisions the club takes, I’m always completely aware and supportive 100 per cent.”