Man City chief backs Erling Haaland to succeed after ‘period of adjustment’

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Erling Haaland agreed a five-year deal with Manchester City on May 10 (David Inderlied/PA) (PA Media)
Erling Haaland agreed a five-year deal with Manchester City on May 10 (David Inderlied/PA) (PA Media)

Erling Haaland has been backed to be a success at Manchester City by chief executive Ferran Soriano, who also hit back at the club’s detractors.

Soriano spoke to Catalan radio station RAC 1 about a wide range of topics including efforts to keep manager Pep Guardiola “forever” in addition to reflecting on the ownership of the Etihad Stadium outfit.

An agreement for the signing of Haaland from Borussia Dortmund was announced on May 10 and the forward is understood to have travelled to Manchester on Tuesday with his £51.1million move set to be official from July.

The 21-year-old, whose father Alf-Inge played for City, was one of the most sought-after players in Europe but put pen to paper on a deal until the summer of 2027 to sign for the newly crowned Premier League champions having scored a remarkable 86 goals in 89 appearances for his former side.

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

“Haaland has chosen us,” Soriano told RAC 1. “We pay him the salary we can pay him and what he gets. We have worked hard to explain a project.

“Haaland will need a period of adjustment and we will have to be patient, but he will succeed.”

A number of clubs, most notably Real Madrid, were linked with the Norwegian, but he chose City, who are understood to be able to pay his transfer fee in installments while his salary will not break the existing wage structure of the Premier League winners.

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

Boss Guardiola was able to guide the club to a fourth title in five years following a final-day 3-2 win over Aston Villa but is currently set to approach the final 12 months of his contract.

Chief executive Soriano has suggested another new deal for the former Barcelona boss will be on the table soon.

He added: “The will is for Guardiola to stay here forever. Why not? Is possible.”

Soriano also refuted suggestions City are state-owned like Paris St Germain and pointed to the fact they have shareholders from the Emirates, United States and China.

“We are not a state club, we are a club owned by three shareholders looking for profitability,” the ex-Barcelona vice-president insisted.

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