TEAMtalk insider Ben Jacobs has provided an update on Erling Haaland’s long-term Manchester City future following rumours of a falling out with Pep Guardiola and the results of the Premier League investigation into financial irregularities.
Haaland could reportedly leave the club next summer after City were hit with 115 charges relating to their finances, with those charges relating from between 2009 and 2018.
If found guilty, the probe could have serious ramifications for the club, as anything from fines to their expulsion from the top flight is possible.
That has led to rumours that Haaland could be on his way, on top of talk that he is not seeing eye to eye with Guradiola.
The Norway hitman cut an increasingly frustrated figure in the loss at Tottenham on Sunday. Indeed, Gary Neville went as far to say that City are not playing to Haaland‘s strengths – despite the fact he’s already scored 31 goals in all competitions this season.
And speaking to Jacobs, the TT insider has told us that talk of an unhappy Haaland wanting out is well wide of the mark.
He said: “Erling Haaland has come into the Premier League and scored goals for fun. And as soon as you get that kind of profile, people immediately dig a little deeper, and stories come out positive and negative.
“Sometimes it can be in your favour, because as the player generates profile, you get the opportunity to show who you really are. And that might include excellent things that you do off the field. But by the same token, we get a lot of tabloid headlines about players.
“Haaland has joined Manchester City, he’s played 20 Premier League goal games, and he scored 25 goals. And in all competitions, he scored 31 goals. So to suggest that City are unhappy with that return feels a little bizarre to me, regardless of whether or not it changes perhaps tactics or style.
“Over time, I think what we’re going to see at City is players learn how best to complement Haaland and benefit from him.
“Whereas I think what we’ve seen in the first half of the season is Manchester City trying to stick to their principles. But as they get into the box, you’ve got a slightly more rigid forward in Haaland, which is good and bad.
No Haaland friction with City
“But I think to call it friction, to call it a fallout is overstating it because Manchester City are delighted with Haaland. And let’s not forget that it was Pep Guardiola that was integral to signing him, he was the one pushing. So if you push to sign a player, and then halfway through the season or so, they’ve got 31 goals and they’re breaking records left, right and center – the manager is delighted with that goalscorer.
“And that’s why these suggestions that he’s going to leave imminently, don’t really, as I understand it, have too much substance to it.
“Manchester City, are ecstatic at the moment, because they know that they’ve got a player that can single-handedly win games if he served. But it’s about diversifying that skill set.
“And then when people say well, ‘won’t somebody else come in’? It is true that Haaland has a release clause that activates in 2024 for around £200million. But that was very much just a formality.
“And even if it becomes apparent, first of all, Manchester City are the kind of club that if a player wants to leave, they sell them anyway. So the release clause won’t be a fear that someone’s going to trigger it.
Haaland unlikely to be affordable to suitors
“It’s still a very high number, even though Haaland’s value has gone up since joining City, but also it’s not just about the release clause, it’s also about being able to afford the player.
“So taking Haaland away from Manchester City is about paying massive money and affording the wage, and I don’t see any club triggering a release clause, because that is likely as per most release clauses, to have a requirement to pay that money in a lump sum as well.
“Haaland is very happy at the football club as well. So there’s nothing really to suggest friction problems. He is scoring, Manchester City are happy.
“But the only caveat is obviously, what’s going to happen with the Premier League’s case against Manchester City for over 100 financial breaches. And that will take time, it’s not going to be an overnight resolution.
“But if Manchester City get docked points or suspended or relegated, then suddenly, every player is going to start to look for new employment as well.
“However, in the short term, I think that people make too much of a bad haul and performance or a mismatch, somehow between his style and perhaps philosophy. When the reality is, if it wasn’t working between them, then Haaland wouldn’t have this insane tally of goals only halfway through the season.”
City are next in action on Sunday when they host Aston Villa in the Premier League.
READ MORE: Manchester City learn £35m price tag for Fulham defender; Inter and AC Milan are also interested