What PSG’s Pursuit of Erling Haaland Really Means

© REUTERS / LEON KUEGELERSoccer Football - Champions League - Round of 16 Second Leg - Borussia Dortmund v Sevilla - Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund, Germany - March 9, 2021
Soccer Football - Champions League - Round of 16 Second Leg - Borussia Dortmund v Sevilla - Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund, Germany - March 9, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.10.2021
The biggest clubs in Europe have been angling for Erling Haaland’s signature since he was a teenager. New reports suggest that Paris Saint-Germaine has jumped into pole position for the Norwegian wunderkind. However, PSG’s pursuit of Haaland sheds new light on Kylian Mbappe’s future.
According to Football Italia, PSG has jumped to the front of the Erling Haaland line. The news is sure to delight PSG’s fans and terrify their accountants. Haaland’s agent, Mino Raiola, is requesting €50 million per season to secure his services. While the price is astronomical, there are more than a few reasons why PSG should be happy to oblige.
The first reason is that they’ll be able to land him for a relative pittance in the transfer market. Haaland’s Borrusia Dortmund contract has a €75 million release clause that can be activated this summer. Even in a depressed transfer market due to covid, Dortmund turned down €120 million offers over the summer. The savings on the transfer fee alone pay for his first season’s salary.
The second reason is that he’s a €50 million player. The last time that Erling Haaland failed to average more than a goal every 90 minutes, he was 17 playing for Molde in the Norweigan League. Since he arrived at Dortmund in 2020, he’s scored 47 Bundesliga goals in 43.6 90s. What’s even scarier, is that Haaland has somehow been even more prolific in the Champions League with 21 Champions Leagues goals in 14.9 90s. Add it all up, and Haaland has bagged 68 goals across 58.5 90s, or 1.2 goals every 90 minutes. Factor in that Haaland won’t turn 22 until July, his passing showing steady improvement each season at Dortmund, and locking him down for €50 million may end up being a bargain.
The final and third reason is that PSG’s pursuit of Erling Haaland means they’re resigned to losing Kylian Mbappe in the summer. The superstar Frenchman is the only young player that rivals Haaland in terms of potential and impact. Mbappe burst onto the scene as a 16-year-old for Monaco before moving to PSG. There he established himself as one of the best players in the world, winning a World Cup, and scoring 95 goals in Ligue 1. PSG has tried in vain to extend his contract, but has been rebuffed as Mbappe has had his sights set on playing for Real Madrid. The club apparently offered him a €45 million per season contract, and it appears the money they would have spent on Mbappe will be diverted to try and woo Haaland.
The validity of transfer rumors is always a question. If it is true, then PSG believes their chances of retaining Mbappe are gone. Getting out in front of it and securing Haaland for next season would lessen the blow. There’s always the chance that PSG could land Haaland and retain Mbappe, but with both Lionel Messi and Neymar under contract for next season, that appears impossible.
PSG may be in the lead to sign Haaland right now, but another club could easily shoot to the front of the queue with an extraordinary offer. Mino Raiola is called a superagent for a reason, and suggesting that €50 million a season is what it’ll take to land Haaland is simply the first round of negotiations. The fact that he’s made it public means he still thinks he can get more.
World football has been dominated by the Messi v Ronaldo debate for the past decade. However, one of Mbappe or Haaland looks ready to inherit the best in the world mantle and invoke their own personal rivalry. Haaland replacing Mbappe at PSG would only add to the storylines. PSG’s pursuit of Erling Haaland says as much about his greatness as it does about where Kylian Mbappe will play next.
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