Tactical Insights

Haaland fuels Man City exit rumours; reveals ‘focus’ not on new deal amid claims agent has said ‘yes’ to Euro giants

Man City star Erling Haaland has consciously fueled transfer speculation by claiming “you never know what the future brings” amid links to Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The Norway international had an incredible first season at the Etihad Stadium with Haaland bagging 52 goals in 53 matches in all competitions as the Citizens went onto win the Treble.

And he has kept up his impressive scoring rate this term with 28 goals in 31 matches as Man City once again challenge for a number of trophies.

Despite his fantastic season, Lionel Messi scooped his eighth Ballon d’Or last year and there were rumours that Haaland is now convinced that he ‘needs’ to move to Real Madrid to win individual awards.

There was another report last week which insisted his agent had said ‘yes’ to Barcelona president Joan Laporta over a future move after a meeting with the Catalan giants’ sporting director Deco.

And now Haaland in an interview with journalist Sam Lee has addressed speculation about his future, the Norwegian said: “I’m really happy, especially with the people I’m surrounded by.

READ MORE: Three-team title races: Liverpool, Arsenal, City could give us the closest Premier League yet

“The manager, the directors, the board, I am really happy I have to say. I say this now, it will probably be a massive headline, tomorrow you never know what the future brings but I am happy. You can write this but you also have to write everything I said before. I am happy.”

When asked if he would be willing to sign a new contract, Haaland replied: “Yeah, my focus is mainly now on the pitch, there’s a lot of games, two days ago a derby, now CL, Sunday is Liverpool so I think I should focus on that.”

When asked if he will have to wait until Messi hangs up his boots to win the Ballon d’Or, Haaland continued: “Good question! I don’t know. I’ve won it all but I’m only 23, so I want to win it all again. Messi is the best that has ever played, maybe he has to retire for someone else to be regarded as the best.”

Man City boss Pep Guardiola was asked in a press conference on Tuesday how the striker slotted in after signing, the Spaniard replied: “So quick. That is what impressed me most since the first pre-season. It was so quick. The guys embrace really quick the new ones but the new ones have to do the step.

“He was always smiling and it impressed me the most off the pitch, his character. Lovely character.

“I met some of the biggest, biggest stars and I see how humble they are. I don’t know why, the biggest ones understand better. That’s why maybe they are the biggest stars, for that reason.”

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