Manchester City have agreed a deal to sign star striker Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund, the Premier League club announced on Tuesday.
Norwegian Haaland, 21, will join City at the end of the season having spent two-and-a-half successful years at Dortmund, where he has scored 85 goals in 88 appearances in all competitions.
A City statement read: “Manchester City can confirm we have reached an agreement in principle with Borussia Dortmund for the transfer of striker Erling Haaland to the club on July 1, 2022.
“The transfer remains subject to the club finalising terms with the player.”
Dortmund posted an article on their website under the headline "Erling Haaland close to move to Manchester City'.
City will reportedly pay the Norway international’s £51.25 million ($63.15m) release clause.
Manager Pep Guardiola was reluctant to discuss the situation as he held a press conference on Tuesday to preview his side’s upcoming game at Wolves, but did all but confirm a deal was imminent.
Guardiola said: “Everybody knows the situation, but I should not talk because I do not like to talk about the future, next season.
“At the same time I should say something, but Borussia Dortmund and Man City told me I’m not allowed to say anything until the deal is completely done, so I cannot talk. I’m sorry. We’ll have time to talk.”
Asked further about the matter, the Spaniard said: “I would love to talk, honestly, but I can’t. They tell me don’t say anything [because of] the legal actions or the legal situation.
“We’ll have time to talk about that. [It’s] not because I don’t want but because I can’t.”
Haaland's impending arrival at the Etihad Stadium ends City's search for a long-term successor to club-record goalscorer Sergio Aguero, who joined Barcelona last summer before announcing his retirement in December due to a heart condition.
City have been operating this season without a recognised striker and have largely thrived. Guardiola's side are the Premier League's leading scorers and sit top of the table, although the absence of a proven goalscorer has been costly at key times, most notably in the Champions League semi-final defeat to Real Madrid, a tie they dominated only to exit 6-5 on aggregate after extra time. The hope is that Haaland, with 134 goals in 182 career appearances and 36 assists, will fill that need for a focal point in attack.
Guardiola was keen to play down the significance of any one new signing.
He said: “We have a number nine right now. New players always help us try to be a stronger team, but a good defender will not solve our defensive problems and one striker will not resolve the scoring problems that maybe we have.
“We have always been consistent, scoring a lot of goals and conceding few. The stats are there, we are stable in those terms but the club always has to have a vision for the future.
“That’s why with the decisions the club takes, I’m always completely aware and supportive 100 per cent.”
City had attempted to sign a striker last summer but their pursuit of Tottenham's Harry Kane fell short after Spurs chairman Daniel Levy demanded £150 million ($185.5m), effectively pricing the England captain out of a move. Haaland will cost significantly less.
Haaland, the son of former Leeds United player Alfie Haaland, came through the youth ranks at Norwegian side Bryne before joining Molde at 16 years old. He moved to Austrian Bundesliga champions Red Bull Salzburg in January 2019, scoring 29 goals in 27 appearances before signing for German Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund 12 months later.
Haaland had also been on Real Madrid's radar but the Spanish champions' top target is Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe, who is available to discuss terms over a free transfer move with his current PSG contract set to expire at the end of next month.