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Man City targeting Haaland as Aguero replacement, Kane also on shortlist

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Erling Braut HaalandHaaland has scored 21 goals in the Bundesliga this season

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is targeting Erling Braut Haaland as Sergio Aguero's replacement – but there are other options if he misses out on the Norwegian, and they include England skipper Harry Kane.

On Monday it was announced City's record goalscorer Aguero will leave the club at the end of the season.

Guardiola has had a plan to bring in a new striker for some time now, which meant Aguero was likely to have even less playing time than he has had recently.

The finality over the Argentine's future does leave City clear to pursue replacements. And no matter who they eventually sign, it will be one of the biggest deals of the summer.

Haaland the number one target

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It is no surprise 20-year-old Haaland is at the top of Guardiola's wish-list.

The Norway and Borussia Dortmund forward has become the most coveted young number nine in Europe through his sheer weight of goals and he will be looking to add to his tally against City in their Champions League last-16 tie.

Only prolific Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski has scored more than Haaland's 21 goals in the Bundesliga this season, while earlier this month he reached 20 Champions League goals in only 14 appearances.

However, signing Haaland is not straightforward. His controversial agent Mino Raiola seemed to be suggesting the striker would be on the move this summer when in a recent interview with The Athletic, he told a story of an unnamed player who, together with his parents, he decided to leave with his club despite interest from elsewhere.

The player then suffered two ligament injuries, which virtually ended his career. "Sometimes football is a train that passes by," he said. "You can say 'let's take the next train'. But sometimes the next train doesn't come."

Yet there are reasons why a transfer in the summer of 2022 would make more sense.

Haaland's Dortmund contract does not expire until 2024, although it is thought to contain a release clause of 75m euros (£64m) that can be activated next year. In addition, financial constraints around Barcelona and Real Madrid are likely to take two of the most attractive potential destinations out of the equation this summer.

Still, if Haaland does leave, Chelsea and Manchester United will want to be kept abreast of developments and there are no guarantees City is where he will end up, even though his dad, Alfie, played for them.

In an interview with BBC sports editor Dan Roan in February, Raiola said: "Only a maximum of 10 clubs can afford to buy [Haaland] and give the platform you would like after you've been in Dortmund… and four of those clubs are in [England]."

Would Man City, Liverpool, Man Utd or Chelsea suit Haaland best?

What are the other options?

Harry KaneKane has scored 160 goals in 237 Premier League appearances

Kane's Tottenham future is the subject of huge debate.

Spurs seem to have gone backwards under Jose Mourinho and, at 27, time is running out for the England captain to win the game's major prizes.

However, Tottenham play City in the EFL Cup Final at Wembley on 25 April and although they will start as outsiders, they could at least end that 13-year wait for a major trophy.

As with Haaland, Kane's contract does not expire until 2024.

Former Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku may be more easily attainable given the financial issues Inter Milan's Chinese parent company Suning are wrestling with.

Lukaku's club colleague Lautaro Martinez has also been mentioned as a target, although he is not a number nine in the conventional sense.

City flexing their financial muscle

Jack GrealishGrealish has been one of the Premier League's standout players this season

It is less than five months since Guardiola signed a new City contract that will keep him with the Blues until 2023.

When Guardiola's new deal was announced, City were halfway in the Premier League and it was anticipated a major rebuild would be required.

Wind the clock forward and City are now 14 points clear at the top of the table and talk is intensifying over an unprecedented quadruple.

Guardiola has found a winning formula that does not even need a main striker and the strength of his squad appears beyond the scope of any rival, either domestic or in Europe.

But the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss has an insatiable drive for perfection. Despite the presence of Kevin de Bruyne, Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling, he is actively looking at creative options, which is why Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish's name keeps cropping up.

Some of the steam seems to have gone out of links with Lionel Messi now the Barcelona presidential elections have brought some calm to the Nou Camp and on Wednesday Spanish newspaper Sportexternal-link said it was "case closed" on the Argentine moving to City.

But around the time of Guardiola's contract extension announcement, there was massive speculation over the pair being reunited and a further plan for Messi to be used later in his career across the wider City Football Group.

There was foundation to the stories, so it cannot be completely discounted he remains part of the bigger picture.

Left-back remains an issue, although Joao Cancelo's stunning form in the unique role that combines a full-back's defensive duties with those of a midfield pivot, has lessened the urgency of that search, while at the same time raising question marks over Benjamin Mendy's continued presence at the club.

Aguero to a Premier League rival?

Despite the injury problems that have dogged him this term, Aguero feels he can still play at a high level, so he is not intent on returning to Argentina just yet.

It is also known he has not ruled out moving to another Premier League club, as implausible as it may seem given his legacy at City is so great the club have already agreed to commission a statue of him.

So, while Barcelona is a possibility, along with Juventus, Inter and Paris St-Germain, it will be interesting to see whether any loose talk of interest from Chelsea and Liverpool develops into anything concrete, or even Manchester United given the uncertainty over Edinson Cavani's future.

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Comment posted by theparfinator, today at 13:18theparfinator

13:18I believe Haaland will be looking to add to his CL tally in his QUARTER FINAL against City, not L16 tie.
You’d think someone would proofread these articles first!451A

Reply posted by Ayewhavingalaugh, today at 13:38Ayewhavingalaugh

13:38to theparfinator"I believe Haaland will be looking to add to his CL tally in his QUARTER FINAL against City, not L16 tie. You’d think someone would proofread these articles first!"Ayewhavingalaugh replied: It’s a low bar at BBC when it comes to journalism.256More replies (3)downJ

Comment posted by Joris Bonson, today at 13:18Joris Bonson

13:18Might as well buy both since no one seems to regulate how much they spend8139S

Reply posted by selfy, today at 14:00selfy

14:00to Joris Bonson"Might as well buy both since no one seems to regulate how much they spend"selfy replied: So bitter.2538More replies (14)downJ

Comment posted by Jonny, today at 13:24Jonny

13:24We can all be jealous of City’s money but Haaland is a top scalp for the PL. His record at 20 is staggering.262I

Reply posted by II, today at 13:27II

13:27to Jonny"We can all be jealous of City’s money but Haaland is a top scalp for the PL. His record at 20 is staggering."II replied: Did you hear the rumours that during the international break he
Bought a house
Submitted a transfer request29More replies (5)downP

Comment posted by popeye, today at 13:48popeye

13:48Man city may buy halland. There top transfer 62m though tax,agents fees went on top.Dortmund would put 120m-150m transfer fee with tax,agents fees on top. City may baulk at that. man utd’s woodward did not buy sancho at 108m and extra’s on top. Funny though uefa are changing debt to allow clubs to accumulate debt through transfers. Not long after barca’s 1.37b and real’s 901m debt were discovered.222S

Reply posted by St Marks Gorton1880, today at 14:45St Marks Gorton1880

14:45to popeye"Man city may buy halland. There top transfer 62m though tax,agents fees went on top.Dortmund would put 120m-150m transfer fee with tax,agents fees on top. City may baulk at that. man utd’s woodward did not buy sancho at 108m and extra’s on top. Funny though uefa are changing debt to allow clubs to accumulate debt through transfers. Not long after barca’s 1.37b and real’s 901m debt were discovered."St Marks Gorton1880 replied: Uefa are a corrupt organisation Platini the former president and ffp inventor is completely banned from football so no shock at what you say.30G

Comment posted by Gaz sometimes right, today at 13:23Gaz sometimes right

13:23Man City don’t need Kane but if he ever wants to win anything then Kane needs City or practically any other big club aboard.3212A

Reply posted by AJ94, today at 14:17AJ94

14:17to Gaz sometimes right"Man City don’t need Kane but if he ever wants to win anything then Kane needs City or practically any other big club aboard."AJ94 replied: Abroad*50More replies (2)downC

Comment posted by Cos-my-neighbour-said-so, today at 13:20Cos-my-neighbour-said-so

13:20Good signing for any aspirational side … Although I think Grealish is good .. long term Haaland would be first signing ..
Record is phenomenal and can only see him getting better, injuries aside.
Be nice to see him gracing the PL122S

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Reply posted by steve42, today at 13:23steve42

13:23to Cos-my-neighbour-said-so"Good signing for any aspirational side … Although I think Grealish is good .. long term Haaland would be first signing ..Record is phenomenal and can only see him getting better, injuries aside.Be nice to see him gracing the PL"steve42 replied: Yeah for a real club not one invented by Arabs around 15 years ago.2437More replies (21)downJ

Comment posted by Johnny_Lee, today at 14:05Johnny_Lee

14:05His scumbag agent will want this kid moving around every few years to maximise his commission fees. Wherever he goes, he won’t be there for long. He’ll be at a few stepping stone clubs before he settles at a proper big club.101N

Reply posted by NeverGiveUp, today at 14:22NeverGiveUp

14:22to Johnny_Lee"His scumbag agent will want this kid moving around every few years to maximise his commission fees. Wherever he goes, he won’t be there for long. He’ll be at a few stepping stone clubs before he settles at a proper big club."NeverGiveUp replied: That’s what City are, a stepping stone club!47More replies (2)downA

Comment posted by Archie, today at 13:29Archie

13:29SonofBilic- Whose money is clean? If you have enough to buy a premiership football club there will be some exploited downtrodden workers somewhere probably all on furlough at the tax payers expense. Aguero was/is a great player and deserves all the accolades and the statue and I am a lifelong West Ham fan.1910S

Reply posted by should of would of could of, today at 14:05should of would of could of

14:05to Archie"SonofBilic- Whose money is clean? If you have enough to buy a premiership football club there will be some exploited downtrodden workers somewhere probably all on furlough at the tax payers expense. Aguero was/is a great player and deserves all the accolades and the statue and I am a lifelong West Ham fan."should of would of could of replied: Way to undermine your argument by comparing slave labour and human rights abuses with ‘people on furlough’.74More replies (3)downS

Comment posted by SJH, today at 13:19SJH

13:19Kane better option despite Haaland being younger and better. City gel as a team rather than having key individuals and I cant see Pep allowing a 20 year old to come in and earn more than the established stars. This is before we get started on Raiola.114I

Reply posted by II, today at 13:26II

13:26to SJH"Kane better option despite Haaland being younger and better. City gel as a team rather than having key individuals and I cant see Pep allowing a 20 year old to come in and earn more than the established stars. This is before we get started on Raiola."II replied: If you see the Bundesliga, then retract this comment. Raiola, fair enough.02More replies (3)downJ

Comment posted by jon, today at 13:20jon

13:20Would love to see pep manage a club where he hasn’t got the luxury of unlimited cash flow. Let’s see how he would cope at spurs2216W

Reply posted by Willard Wilberforce Wiggins, today at 13:53Willard Wilberforce Wiggins

13:53to jon"Would love to see pep manage a club where he hasn’t got the luxury of unlimited cash flow. Let’s see how he would cope at spurs"Willard Wilberforce Wiggins replied: the same could apply to jurgen the german and jose the whinger610More replies (10)downR

Comment posted by Rob, today at 13:19Rob

13:19Financial fair play at its finest. I would love to see how these top Managers would fair with a team with no spending power and then see how wonderful they are. Mourinho with Porto and Klopp with Dortmund are the closest you get to this, with Pep only ever with money.2318A

Reply posted by Andy Steen, today at 14:36Andy Steen

14:36to Rob"Financial fair play at its finest. I would love to see how these top Managers would fair with a team with no spending power and then see how wonderful they are. Mourinho with Porto and Klopp with Dortmund are the closest you get to this, with Pep only ever with money."Andy Steen replied: Pep has Improved every player at City… Dont agree tell me who has digressed.21More replies (1)downP

Comment posted by pistol, today at 13:53pistol

13:53Kane getting older and with poor ankles might not be a great prospect over the next few years.73F

Reply posted by fjortoft9, today at 14:28fjortoft9

14:28to pistol"Kane getting older and with poor ankles might not be a great prospect over the next few years."fjortoft9 replied: Deluded. Kane doesn’t rely on pace and it’s likely he’ll still be well class well into his 30s.32R

Comment posted by robt, today at 13:47robt

13:47What amazes me about Haaland is that Ole didnt make him his first signing at united for peanuts after managing him at molde? Surely must give ole sleepless nights!51F

Reply posted by FlashInThePan, today at 14:50FlashInThePan

14:50to robt"What amazes me about Haaland is that Ole didnt make him his first signing at united for peanuts after managing him at molde? Surely must give ole sleepless nights!"FlashInThePan replied: Haaland would never play for ‘nited.10B

Comment posted by blobvilla, today at 14:37blobvilla

14:37I think Kane is perfect for Man City, he can play that linking role but crucially he can score goals against anyone is a thinking player who learns and looks to improve. As a Villa fan I would be gutted if Grealish went to City but I’m not sure where he plays in that side but Guardiola knows his football, so he must have a plan. They will be unstoppable if they sign both.41W

Comment posted by William, today at 14:23William

14:23Haaland’s Dad is a pal of OGS. So we’ll see where he ends up?31B

Reply posted by Billy Goat Gruff, today at 14:26Billy Goat Gruff

14:26to William"Haaland’s Dad is a pal of OGS. So we’ll see where he ends up?"Billy Goat Gruff replied: Not where Roy Keane played for sure. That rules out Forest then.31More replies (1)downB

Comment posted by BBC123, today at 14:07BBC123

14:07Considering Haaland was just recently campaigning about human rights abuses in Qatar prior to his qualifier matches, I doubt Man City is going to be his first, second or even third choice for a new club.

(And yes, I know it’s the UAE that pumps Man City full of cash and not Qatar, but the abuses in the UAE exceed even Qatar, and who runs the UAE? Ah yes, Prime Minister Sheik Mansour himself).53Removed commentMore replies (2)downD

Comment posted by Devon Goward, today at 14:34Devon Goward

14:34Well we know where the next premier league title is going then. Better off watching lower leagues these days, boringggg…10B

Comment posted by Bales, today at 14:22Bales

14:22Let Citeh spend whatever and get whoever and hand them the titles, clearly no financial penalty to actually adhere to. Football has died hate to say.32A

Reply posted by Alan, today at 14:27Alan

14:27to Bales"Let Citeh spend whatever and get whoever and hand them the titles, clearly no financial penalty to actually adhere to. Football has died hate to say."Alan replied: That died 7 years ago when Liverpool failed FFP but UEFA let them off.73M

Comment posted by Murphy45, today at 13:50Murphy45

13:50Wow, the BBC must have some insiders at Manchester City, whoever comes the negotiations will have started some time ago, Aguero’s numbers will take some beating but any signings will be joining a quality football club !21C

Comment posted by colt seavers, today at 13:32colt seavers

13:32They are probably already planning a statue of haaland 😂32F

Reply posted by FlashInThePan, today at 14:47FlashInThePan

14:47to colt seavers"They are probably already planning a statue of haaland 😂"FlashInThePan replied: Well if he stays for10 years and buries your club every time we play them, he will deserve one. Dry your tears.00More commentsBack to topunknown
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