It was officially announced Erling Haaland’s impending move to Manchester City on May 10.
Two weeks later, he was on a private jet to Manchester, where he dined with the club’s executives, began exploring potential new homes and spent a full morning at City Football Academy.
Almost a month after City confirmed that an ‘agreement in principle’ was in place for Haaland to join them from Borussia Dortmund on July 1, no official footage of the striker wearing his jersey has been released.
Manchester City can confirm that we have reached an agreement in principle with Borussia Dortmund for the transfer of striker Erling Haaland to the club on 1 July 2022.
The transfer remains subject to the club’s final terms with the player.
– Manchester City (ManCity) May 10, 2022
Pointing out the desperation of City fans on social media, tirelessly calling for an update and #AnnounceHaaland becoming a common hashtag.
Sunday’s self-recorded video of Haaland shaking his head along Oasis’ Wonderwall is the closest we’ve got so far.
So what happened?
Two weeks ago, the 21-year-old was spotted by the club’s staff as he roamed the training ground facilities dressed in City clothes, ready to go during the photo session he revealed.
All content in the box and ready to go. But it’s not available online yet because Haaland, on and off the field, is a special case.
“Once he becomes a City player, the content will come out,” a source said, although there are no legal hurdles regarding agreeing personal terms or making other announcements before July 1.
Even more relevant is City’s desire to pressure every final withdrawal from the influence of signing a global star.
A special event has been planned for the Norwegian’s unveiling, which will end with a meet-and-greet from the fans – similar to those enjoyed by Jack Grealish, Riyad Mahrez, Rodri and Joao Cancelo when they came to the club.
This will come after a social media campaign, which may start as early as the beginning of next week.
Despite this, the city has to make sure things are done the right way.
Haaland is absent from the Norwegian national team at the present time, and he scored three goals in their first two matches in 2022-23 in the Nations League to help them achieve two wins and six points. His international goal tally now stands at 18 in 19 appearances.
After two more matches, at home in Oslo, against Slovenia and Sweden on Thursday and Sunday, Haaland will start his summer vacation. He is not expected to be in Manchester again before the beginning of next month.
Another key factor for City is the number that will be on the back of their shirt.
There is still no confirmation on what number Haaland will wear next season – and that’s very important from a T-shirt sales and marketing point of view. For City, having the opportunity to sell branded products for the occasion would be a golden opportunity.
Haaland has worn the number 9 in the past two seasons at Dortmund and it’s no secret that this would be his favorite in Manchester as well.
It was revealed earlier this season that he and his campers were also very keen on him to wear the No.9 with Norway to maximize the strength of his brand. He’s been doing this since March.
But at the Etihad Stadium, Gabriel Jesus currently owns that jersey number. The Brazilian’s future at the club is uncertain and City will not stand in his way if a proper bid is on the table, with his contract running out in 2023.
However, the first-team unit has a very clear position: as long as Jesus is a City player, they don’t want to strip him of his shirt number.
It will send a bad message to the rest of the dressing room, as players prefer that any change of number comes in a more natural way.
At Manchester United, for example, Cristiano Ronaldo took back the number 7 shirt he had previously worn for the club from Edinson Cavani when he returned last summer after 12 years playing in Spain and Italy, with the Uruguay striker moving to 21st place.
With that, the Jesus camp had been considering their options for a long time.
the athlete It was revealed last month that Arsenal were looking at options to sign him, and their manager Mikel Arteta was a huge fan of the Brazilian in his days as Pep Guardiola City’s assistant. Arsenal’s failure to qualify for next season’s Champions League has made the north London club less desirable, but it will still be an option.
The 25-year-old wants regular minutes with the first team whether he stays or goes. Jesus hasn’t been able to establish himself as a strong starter during his five and a half years at the federation – not even after Sergio Aguero’s departure last summer – with a World Cup just around the corner.
Jesus has regained his place in the Brazil squad after being left out for the March matches, but he needs more match time to keep it. Haaland’s arrival is another major obstacle in his attempt to compete with Guardiola’s other frontline options.
In Manchester, they know Jesus has been watched by multiple clubs across Europe. Given his age and performances at the big events this season, City expect to receive more than £40m if he moves this summer.
“It’s worth every penny,” a senior source added.
A rock star unveiling event full of branded Haaland No 9 T-shirts will definitely be worth it.
(Top image: Annelie Cracchiolo/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)