Manchester City are keen to remove the release clause in Erling Haaland’s contract that would allow him to leave the Etihad Stadium for a set price.
Haaland already has 42 goals to his name in all competitions, including 28 in just 26 Premier League outings and ten in the group stages of the Champions League, and he scored his sixth hat-trick of the season in Saturday’s 6-0 win over Burnley in the FA Cup quarter-finals.
The Norwegian is widely regarded as one of the best players in the world, though that much was evident last summer when Haaland had not only City vying for his signature, but also Real Madrid, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich.
City eventually won the race to sign Haaland from Borussia Dortmund, which like most deals in the modern game contained various options and clauses covering all parties.
One particular clause in Haaland’s contract was that he could, in theory, leave for a set fee in the future, similar to the deals he had in place at Dortmund and RB Salzburg.
Sources have told said that the clause was tied to the future of manager Pep Guardiola, who signed a new contract in November to extend his stay at the club until 2025, and that not only changed the data on Haaland’s clause activating but also it’s value to at least €200m.
Real Madrid, Barcelona, PSG and Bayern Munich all retain an interest in signing Haaland, but they are acutely aware that the most likely route to signing him is via the release clause – which does not apply to rival Premier League clubs.
Why does Erling Haaland have a release clause?
Some have questioned the motives behind Haaland having a release clause written into his City contract, given they have won the Premier League in four out of the last five seasons are regularly touted as favourites to win the Champions League.
But his agent, Rafaela Pimenta, recently explained the reasons for Haaland having a clause in his contract, in addition to valuing her client at an eye-watering £1bn.
“When a player goes to a club, I do all I can to create a situation where the key is in their hands,” she told AS.
“If tomorrow you don’t want to be there anymore because you don’t like it, or if they don’t pay you well, or if your wide wants to live in Paris, well, you go, no?
I don’t like it when the player has no freedom to decide.
I have done all the contracts in this agency in 25 years.
“For me, Haaland is worth a billion, no one is going to pay that, but it’s the potential that he has when he arrives at a club.
“But the price of a footballer, in reality, is set by a club.
I know that no one is going to pay 700m for one player, but it’s very clear that Erling’s value when he arrives at a club is immense, it’s at least a billion.”
The world’s most expensive player remains Neymar, who joined PSG from Barcelona for €222m in 2017.