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“If they hate me, then it’s the biggest compliment’”– Do Premier League suitors want Haaland baggage?

The race for Erling Haaland’s signature is very much on, with the button seemingly pressed on a countdown clock at Borussia Dortmund that will eventually lead to a prolific Norwegian striker heading through the exits. Where will he end up? Well, that remains to be seen.

There is every chance that a much sought-after asset will make his way to the Premier League. His father once represented Nottingham Forest, Leeds United and Manchester City – with Haaland Junior making no secret of his affection for those at Elland Road.

A switch to West Yorkshire at this stage appears highly unlikely, but the North East of England remains a potential landing spot. City, along with arch-rivals United, are very much in the hunt for a star of the present and future, with both of the opinion that they hold important transfer aces up their sleeve.

Ambition may play a big part in any future decision made from this point, with Premier League betting odds from Paddy Power making the Blues of Manchester 8/13 shots for another domestic title in 2021-22 as once-illustrious Reds trail in their wake.

Those at Old Trafford, who are 4/6 for a top-four finish, will feel as though they can – with Ralf Rangnick now on their payroll – make a serious play for Haaland, but they will also be aware that any talks will bring another familiar face back to their table.

While Haaland’s pedigree on the field is without question, his entourage off it will be causing many a suitor plenty of headaches. That is because he forms part of Mino Raiola’s client list, and the outspoken Italian can be notoriously difficult to do business with.


United know that all too well from having taken in a second punt on Paul Pogba. He is another working with an agent that can make as many headlines for his antics off the pitch as those he represents conjure up on the field.

Raiola makes no apologies, though, for who and what he is, with there a sense of pride on his part at often being cast as a pantomime villain in a professional sports production. He has said of earning a less-than-favourable reputation within boardrooms around the world: “If they hate me, then it’s the biggest compliment for me. Then I’m doing something well.”

City and United, along with the likes of other reported suitors such as Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, must decide whether they want to enter into discussions with a man who will never be too far from the spotlight. Now is the time to start weighing up pros and cons.

Haaland’s value to any given cause makes him of obvious appeal, so should the circus he brings with him be overlooked? Enigmatic characters are what make football so entertaining, with one of the most destructive forwards on the planet hardly a shrinking violet himself.

The shadow of Raiola will, however, loom large over any recruitment calls and big decisions need to be made on whether some colourful baggage is the kind that Premier League heavyweights want to be checking in through their arrivals lounge.

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