Manchester City have won the race for Erling Haaland after beating the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich to his signature
The transfer saga has ended before the summer window has even opened with nearly every elite club in Europe chasing Haaland’s signature. The Borussia Dortmund star has a release clause – that was widely assumed to be around £63million but is actually worth £52m – that comes into effect this year.
After an astonishing 85 goals in 88 games, that is an absolute bargain for any club that manages to land the 21-year-old. And it now looks almost certain that this club will be City, who will strengthen their attack even further to strike fear into the rest of the Premier League.
But when talk of a move away started to gain traction in December 2021, it sparked a row between Neville and Carragher over the biggest clubs in Europe. The late Mino Raiola, who had represented Haaland, stated that all the big teams were after his client, but only mentioning Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Barcelona and City.
Neville was quick to ask his Sky Sports pal: “Were Liverpool mentioned?” Carragher insisted: “No We don’t need him.”
“Oh, Liverpool weren’t mentioned (by Raiola either). Just making sure,” he continued which lead to Carragher aiming a dig at the United frontline: “You’ve got two 36-year-olds up front.”
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In truth, neither United or Liverpool had a chance of landing Haaland – despite Ralf Rangnick knowing the player well and reports earlier in the season that he could convince his family that Old Trafford was the right destination for the forward.
There is too much turmoil at United currently where the future looks unpredictable at best and doomed at its worst. And without Champions League football, Haaland would not even consider a switch, despite his old buddy Jadon Sancho making the move last year.
Liverpool had never truly entered the transfer race for his signature and often stay away from such sagas that threaten to break into media circuses. However, it would have been nigh-on impossible not to have been tempted due to Haaland’s talent and the fee involved.
But it will now be almost definite that the Leeds-born ace will be turning out at the Etihad next season at the same club his father, Alf-Inge, played for back in the early noughties. Pep Guardiola had been desperate for a striker after missing out on Harry Kane and has now got one of the best in the world.