Manchester City looking for payment plan in Erling Haaland transfer

Manchester City are continuing to explore the possibility of signing Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland but are reluctant to directly trigger his release clause and pay the £63m in one lump sum, 90min understands.

Sources close to the situation have confirmed that the 21-year-old’s release clause is only valid until the end of April, giving suitors like City and Real Madrid a rapidly approaching deadline to signal their intentions over a deal.

City have no concerns over Haaland’s price tag and value the striker at well over that £63m figure, but 90min has learned that Pep Guardiola’s side would prefer to avoid having to pay that sum in one go.

Any party that triggers his release clause must pay up immediately, but City are looking to strike a deal with Dortmund which would actually see them pay a little more than that figure, but stretch the payment over a certain period of time.

As 90min reported back in November, Dortmund are open to such an approach as they want to maximise the amount they can bring in by selling Haaland.

Part of City’s approach stems from the substantial agency fees which must be paid to Mino Raiola and Haaland’s father, former City man Alf-Inge. Club chiefs are prepared to meet those demands and are now looking to limit their immediate expenditure by securing a payment plan with Dortmund.

City have also made it clear that they do not want to pay Haaland more that current top-earner Kevin De Bruyne, whose contract is worth around £450,000 once add-ons are factored in. The Norwegian’s representatives have previously played down the importance of money in deciding his next move.

There are hopes at the Etihad Stadium that City could take advantage of some uncertainty from fellow suitors Real. Los Blancos are prioritising signing Kylian Mbappe and are now torn on a move for another high-profile forward as 34-year-old Karim Benzema continues to play at a near-Ballon d’Or-worthy level.

Elsewhere, both Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain have recently held talks over a move for Haaland, while Bayern Munich see the Norway international as a perfect replacement for Robert Lewandowski, who is considering his options and is attracted by the idea of joining Barça.

In the Premier League, Manchester United are looking at Benfica’s Darwin Nunez instead and Liverpool have pulled out of the race because of the high costs involved, but 90min understands that Chelsea are still open to a deal.

The Blues were looking at Haaland last summer before turning to Romelu Lukaku, but with the Belgian’s long-term future at the club far from certain, Chelsea could yet emerge as contenders to sign the striker.

However, with Dortmund needing a decision from Haaland by the end of the month, Chelsea would need their takeover to be accelerated for a deal to be possible. The club are currently prohibited from pursuing transfers but will have that ban lifted once the new owners are in place.

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