Manchester City will initiate talks with Erling Braut Haaland’s agent in January ahead of a potential summer move, a report from the Times claims.
The Cityzens were actively in the hunt for an elite striker over the summer after Sergio Aguero left the club following a decade of service.
They were heavily linked with Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane, but the marksman eventually stayed put as a deal was never on the cards.
Cristiano Ronaldo was also fancied to make a shock move from Juventus, but he ended up sealing a sensational return to Manchester United.
This has left the English champions with just one specialist striker in Gabriel Jesus, who has surprisingly excelled from the right wing this term.
Ferran Torres, Jack Grealish, Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling have all had turns leading the line, and the trend may continue for the season.
It is now reported that the Cityzens are keen on landing Haaland, and talks are set to begin with agent Mino Raiola at the beginning of the year.
Haaland is likely to leave Borussia Dortmund at the end of the season. A release clause worth £65 million will become active from the start of June.
The Cityzens won the title last season despite Aguero missing a vast number of games with injury and fitness concerns.
They are used to play without a specialist striker, and Aguero’s departure has not proved much of a loss.
There is still room for improvement. They need a marksman with a physical presence that can make the difference in games where they can’t break the deadlock with their tiki-taka passing.
Haaland would be ideally suited for the role with his dominating nature in the final third. He has also worked on his heading ability that was previously highlighted as a potential weakness.
The Norwegian’s father Alf-Inge previously played for City between 2000 and 2003. He could have a crucial role in convincing the striker to join the reigning Premier League champions.
Haaland may not be the only target for Guardiola’s side. They have also been fancied to make a move for Fiorentina’s Dusan Vlahovic, who could be available in the next transfer window.
Vlahovic could cost a similar fee to Haaland. The 21-year-old has not scored at the same rate as the Norwegian, but it can’t be ignored that he has been playing for a mid-table club in Italy.
Haaland has also been linked with City’s arch-rivals Manchester United, who consider him a priority target. City will be hoping to edge them in the pursuit by making a breakthrough with Raiola.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com.