Guardiola Fumes at Milner's red card escape
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Manchester City could be landed with the upper hand over rivals Manchester United in their pursuit of Erling Haaland if the Norwegian sensation decides to switch sponsorship deals. Puma are supposedly attempting to lure in Haaland as one of their athletes, which would provide more common ground for City, Borussia Dortmund and the player ahead of a furious transfer chase in 2022.
Puma’s existing sponsorship of BVB is likely to give the sporting giant an advantage when it comes to signing the player up to their books.
Haaland is currently a Nike-sponsored athlete, but their rivals are allegedly willing to offer a £50million deal over the next four years.
The only stumbling block for City could be that his contract with Nike has two years left to run and his release clause becomes active in a few months, although The Daily Star claim that switching brands sooner is not out of the question.
City already have a whopping sponsorship deal with Puma in place, believed to be worth £650m over 10 years.
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Blues players like Ederson, Kyle Walker, Oleksandr Zinchenko and boss Pep Guardiola all have individual deals with the brand too.
The £150m-rated talent is set to be available for a much cheaper price next summer when his release clause becomes active.
In that case, any advantage between the European heavyweights competing for his signature would be welcomed with open arms.
He has started this campaign in predictably scintillating form, netting 11 goals across eight games in all competitions.
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Recently, he sustained a thigh injury which has forced him to watch on from the side-lines.
While that will frustrate the 21-year-old who built up so much early momentum, it will do little to put off Europe’s premier sides who are all wise to his ruthless goal-scoring talent.
The likes of Man Utd, City, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are all poised to put their best offer on the table in 2022, and while sponsorship may play its part, Dortmund may also have a few tricks up their sleeve.
Although it has generally been presumed that he will go in search of a new challenge, Sport-Bild outlined a number of reasons why Haaland may opt to stay at the Westfalenstadion.
The speed of his development, his importance to the side, his growth as a dressing room leader and the feel-good atmosphere around the club could all be used to persuade the youngster into signing an unlikely new deal.
While that would be damaging for the clubs who had held out until 2022 to sign him, it would also give the player more time to run down his contract with Nike and make the switch over to Puma.
Although they would have to exercise patience, that would only be a positive thing for the Blues.
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