Superforward Hollande should help Guardiola win Champions League
Erling Holand’s move to Manchester City is confirmed by The Athletic and SkySports, serious sources not noted for replicating unconfirmed rumors. It is claimed that the Norwegian forward will leave Borussia Dortmund at the end of the season after Manchester City CEO Ferran Soriano informed Dortmund boss Hans-Joachim Watzke last week of City’s intention to activate a €75 million buyout clause for the striker.
Obviously, the English grand could only make such an appeal after fully agreeing the transfer with the player’s side choosing between Spain and England. Hollande’s transfer could be officially announced at the end of this week or next week. The legal formalities remain to be ironed out, the papers signed and a colorful presentation of the star rookie prepared. Nice hassle.
Holland went the way of his father. The death of Mino Raiola also had an impact.
Alf-Inge Holand, Erling’s father, played for Manchester City from 2000 to 2003, until his soccer career was ended by the vengeful Roy Keane. Alf-Inge has a huge influence on his son’s career; until recently, Mino Raiola could offer a similarly powerful opinion in opposition, but the influential agent has passed away, and in recent months he has had a difficult time defending his point of view due to illness.
Raiola had a different career trajectory in mind for Holland, with a stop in Spain after Dortmund. Mino wanted Erling to start by playing for an absolute top club in a less competitive league than the APL, and he also remembered how getting on Josep Guardiola’s team had turned out for his other star client, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Big in every way the forward turned out to be a foreign body in the Catalan “team of schoolchildren”, still recalls with disappointment the decision to move to Barcelona.
“Guardiola’s Manchester City is the same as Barcelona, but from the side, Pep still prefers to operate without a center of gravity in the attack, spreading skills and efforts across a group of players-creators. On the other hand, the Champions League debacle is pushing him to change: only a lazy man hasn’t said that the Citizens need a real center-forward to fight for European greatness. Holand is a logical bet, the best available candidate for the role that Guardiola has yet to write for the Norwegian.
Money, Real Madrid’s passivity and City’s bid to bribe Holand Sr.
It was clear from the beginning of the year that Hollande had exactly two options to continue his career in the event of a transfer in 2022 – Real Madrid or Manchester City. At one point, it seemed that the Madrid side was in the lead, with Erling even telling fans that his next club was from Spain. Barcelona’s involvement in the fight for Holand’s signature has always looked like a convenient opportunity for Joan Laporta to get publicity, although lately both the president himself and Xavi have made it clear that Barça could only pull off such a transfer in their dreams:
I won’t say much about Holand’s future, so as not to disrespect other clubs. It’s not just our project that’s good. “City takes trophies, fights for them. If he really goes to “City”, it’s because of our financial difficulties, I have no doubt. I’m not going to lie, it was difficult to make that transfer for financial reasons.
Unlike Barcelona, Real Madrid could afford to transfer Holand. But did they want to? Florentino Perez sees Kylian Mbappe in the center of the Galacticos’ new squad, with Karim Benzema showing the best soccer of his career, and young Brazilians Vinicius and Rodrigo also want to play in the core. “Real Madrid tried to postpone the transfer of Holand to 2023, but Erling is not interested in playing for Borussia for another year. The last straw, however, was the requests of Alfa Inge Holand and Mino Raiola’s agency for commissions.
Real Madrid pulled out of the chat when they learned that the player’s father and his agent want 40 million euros each for their participation in the deal, in addition, the Spanish club was embarrassed by Holand’s injuries this season and the refusal to share details about them. Having learned from their own bitter experience, the Slivos are afraid to let another Bale or Azar into the squad. By and large, Real Madrid do not need another forward at the moment, unlike City, who have acted with unflagging assertiveness and great generosity. The appetites of agents and relatives have been satisfied.
Holand’s task: not to become a new Ibrahimovic under Guardiola
“Man City buys Holand on a “clausule”, written in the contract with Borussia, the buyout option involves paying for the Dortmund share in one payment – immediately receive 75 million euros, which can be spent on the acquisition of a replacement. Such modest compensation is the payment for the opportunity to possess the top forward for the last two and a half years: Holand Sr. and Raiola initially put their shares in the price of the future transfer, so Borussia receives about half of the real value of the Norwegian.
Erling Holand has amazing statistics: he took the Bundesliga by storm, became a symbol of Borussia in recent seasons, scoring 85 goals in 88 games for the Bumblebees. The forward is certainly ready for a new challenge, but there are doubts that the next step in his career will be as painless. Attacking players are not given as much freedom in the APL as they are in Germany, and Manchester City have the typical virtues and shortcomings of Guardiola’s team that Zlatan Ibrahimovic was introduced to years ago. In the worst-case scenario, Holand will repeat Zlatan’s mistake, which Mino Raiola could have avoided.