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How ‘agent Mahrez’ convinced Haaland to join Man City after holiday meeting in Mykonos

11:26 AM WAT 17/01/2023
Riyad Mahrez Erling Haaland
Erling Haaland has revealed that a holiday chat with Riyad Mahrez helped to convince him that Manchester City were his best transfer option.
  • Blues team-mates met in Greece back in 2021
  • Algerian winger talked up life at the Etihad
  • Norwegian striker made £51m move in 2022

WHAT HAPPENED? The prolific Norwegian striker was wanted by all of Europe’s top clubs once it became apparent that he would move away from Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2022. Premier League champions City ultimately won that race, and have seen Haaland hit 27 goals for them through 24 appearances, with a player already on their books – who branded himself “agent Mahrez” at the time – helping to push through a £51 million ($62m) deal.

WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking to CityTV about bumping into Mahrez during a vacation in Mykonos during the summer of 2021, Haaland said: “We didn't speak a lot but you said that I should come to City and it was a good atmosphere. And this, for me, is really important in the team is the atmosphere that you enjoy every day. You just said a little bit and for me that was enough.”

Mahrez added of his involvement: “I don't think I need to convince [new signings] because everyone wants to play for a club like City. Like you said before about the atmosphere, the club, the team, the dressing room. We've got a top team, top lads, and that's the most important thing.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Haaland’s presence at City has given Pep Guardiola another proven No.9 to work with, with the Citizens a more potent attacking force in 2022-23, but uncharacteristic struggles for consistency as a collective have led to the Premier League title holders slipping eight points off the pace in this season’s battle for domestic supremacy.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT? Haaland has failed to find the target in his last three appearances for City, which represents a rare drought for him, and the he will be back in action on Thursday when playing host to Tottenham.