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Guardiola, Dortmund, Real Madrid and Klopp - Winners and losers of Haaland's Man City transfer

07:00 GMT 11/05/2022
Erling Haaland Dortmund Bundesliga 2021-22
The Norwegian's £51m switch to the Etihad was finally confirmed on Tuesday, and the fallout from this potentially era-defining deal will be colossal

The worst-kept secret in football is finally out in the open: Erling Haaland will join Manchester City this summer for £51 million ($63m).

Still, while everybody knew this deal was coming, its confirmation still sent shockwaves through the football world.

And how could it not?

Haaland is one of the game's new superstars, a goalscoring machine, and he is now joining an already brilliant team lacking just one thing: a prolific No.9.

Make no mistake about it: Haaland spearheading Pep Guardiola's slick City side is a daunting prospect for the rest of Europe.

Indeed, the fallout will be fascinating, as this has the potential to be an era-defining deal that could have numerous knock-off effects.

So, who are the likely winners and losers of Haaland's imminent move to Manchester?...

Winner: Man City's owners

Manchester City's Abu-Dhabi based owners have spent nearly £2 billion ($2.5bn) on players since completing their takeover of the club in 2008.

They have made a number of massive signings during that time. Only last summer they broke the British transfer record to prise Jack Grealish away from Aston Villa for £100m ($140m).

However, the Haaland deal is different. This is the striker that every elite club dreamed of signing.

But the reality is that none of them could compete with City – and the financial package they were able to put together in what is for many of their rivals a difficult economic climate.

City view this an excellent bit of business, though, and it certainly is from their perspective.

Haaland has been averaging a goal a game in the Bundesliga. He has the best minutes-to-goal ratio in Champions League history.

Oh, and he is still only 21 years of age. He is only going to get better.

And yet City have managed to sign him for nearly half the money Chelsea paid for Romelu Lukaku last summer.

There are many other fees and factors involved in this transfer, of course, but no matter what way you look at it, the City Football Group have got Guardiola a Galactico at a knock-down price.

Losers: Dortmund

The size of the fee is undoubtedly going to be a source of frustration at Signal Iduna Park for a while to come.

Of course, Dortmund knew what they were getting into when they signed Haaland, who was represented by Mino Raiola, from Red Bull Salzburg in January 2019 (and they have gone back to the same Austrian club to sign an exciting replacement in Karim Adeyemi).

The bargain €20m (£17m/$21m) fee for Haaland came with plenty of caveats. Raiola, remember, had a career plan for his client and he wanted to make it as easy as possible for one of Europe's super-clubs to sign the Norway international.

The precise details of the alleged buy-out clause were never revealed and GOAL has always maintained that it was always more of a gentleman's agreement anyway.

However, while it was considered inevitable that BVB would have to let the forward leave in 2022, and for far less money than the going rate, the final fee still feels staggeringly low.

As Dortmund CEO, Hans-Joachim Watzke, told CNN, "Sometimes, it's a good deal; sometimes, it's not so good." This definitely falls into the latter category.

Dortmund can argue that they got a decent return on their initial investment in a young forward who hit 85 goals in 88 appearances, helping them win the DFB-Pokal along the way, but, at the same time, they are also entitled to feel short-changed after losing the most coveted No.9 in world football for just £51m.

One hopes they have agreed to no such gentlemen's agreement with Adeyemi's agent...

Winner: Pep Guardiola

City hardly struggle to score goals. They have scored 140 times in all competitions this season, after all.

However, as Guardiola himself has admitted, he has had to improvise because of his lack of a more orthodox centre-forward. Even Gabriel Jesus has turned out to be a more effective winger than a striker.

The days of having to ask Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling or even Kevin De Bruyne to serve as a 'false nine' are over, though.

Guardiola is now in possession of one of the most lethal finishers in the game today and Haaland should add a whole new attacking dimension to City's attacking play.

The Norwegian will add a formidable physical threat up front, but this is a forward also blessed with great technique and blistering pace.

Haaland still has to work on certain areas of his game but his mere presence will draw the attention of markers, creating space for Foden & Co.

The Leeds-born forward has had a worrying amount of muscular injuries of late, but if he stays fit, it is difficult to see him failing to score at least 30 goals next season, particularly when one considers he will be serviced by, among others, the most creative attacking midfielder in the world in De Bruyne.

Some pundits have already been quick to point out that former Barca boss Guardiola ditched Zlatan Ibrahimovic after the Sweden's similarly seismic transfer to Camp Nou, but let us not forget that another big man, Robert Lewandowski, scored 67 times in his two seasons under the Catalan coach.

Let's face it, there is only one downside this deal for Guardiola: he no longer has any excuse for not winning next year's Champions League!

Losers: Real Madrid

It was Madrid, of course, who ended City's hopes of victory in this season's tournament, but Florentino Perez will be casting envious and probably bitter glances in the direction of the Etihad right now.

As GOAL reported a month ago, Los Blancos believed themselves capable of signing both Haaland and Kylian Mbappe this summer.

Now, though, there is a distinct possibility that they'll end up with neither.

Mbappe's move to Madrid on a free transfer appeared a formality, with the Liga champions said to have been "99 per cent" confident of landing the Paris Saint-Germain superstar.

However, the latest reports coming out of France suggest that the World Cup winner is, at the very least, having second thoughts.

Mbappe's mother dismissed Le Parisien's claim that her son had agreed a lucrative, two-year extension with PSG, but then added that he had not yet decided to leave either.

If Mbappe does end up staying at the Parc des Princes, though, it would be a disaster for Perez, who has been building towards a stellar summer signing for the past couple of years by practising an uncharacteristically prudent approach to transfers.

Madrid have briefed the media that they had concerns over Haaland's wage demands and recent injury record, but the suspicion is that they would have gone in harder to sign him had they known Mbappe might stick with PSG.

Loser: Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp certainly would have preferred to see Haaland end up at Madrid. At least then, he would have only had to worry about him in the Champions League.

As it is, Liverpool's hopes of winning a second Premier League before their iconic German coach departs in 2026 have taken a real hit.

The Reds are presently level at the top of the table with City but have played one game more, meaning Guardiola's side are still expected to win a fourth title in five seasons.

With Haaland now on his way, the reigning champions will start the 2022-23 campaign as heavy favourites to continue their domination of the English game.

When Klopp was asked about the prospect of signing Haaland by SportBild last month, he replied: "We won't be going there. The numbers involved are just crazy. We won't be having anything to do with it. No chance."

It now remains to be seen if Liverpool have just as little hope of challenging City for next season's title.

"He's a real beast," Klopp said of Haaland after Tuesday night's win at Aston Villa. "Unfortunately, a really good signing."

Of course, Haaland's move to Manchester has not come as a surprise to Klopp, or anyone else in the Premier League for the matter. They knew he was coming.

Whether they will have any idea of how to stop him, though, is another question altogether.