Manchester City are stepping up their pursuit of Erling Haaland with a transfer meeting scheduled with the Norwegian’s agent Mino Raiola in January to get a head start over the stiff competition for his signature.

Haaland’s contract at Borussia Dortmund expires in June 2024 and City are eager to strike a deal before his release clause fee comes into play next summer, according to The Times.

A host of top European clubs are in the race to sign Haaland, with Chelsea the latest club to express an interest in the summer, but Dortmund were unwilling to entertain any discussions over a deal. The Blues turned their attentions to Romelu Lukaku, who they brought back to Stamford Bridge for a club-record £97.5million.

Erling’s father Alf-Inge Haaland spent three years at Man City, and the club would hope this proves to be a decisive factor in secure the deal. City’s interest in Haaland will delight Tottenham Hotspur and chairman Daniel Levy, who refused to entertain the possibility of allowing Harry Kane to make the switch to the Etihad last summer.

But Barcelona and Real Madrid are formidable foes in the race to take the young superstar away from Germany, as Raiola and Haaland senior have reportedly spoken to both clubs.

Manchester United are also being spoken about in the conversation and would need a replacement for Edinson Cavani, who is expected to return to South America at the end of this season.

Haaland has continued his electric form this season with an incredible 11 goals and 4 assists in just 8 appearances across all competitions to date. In total, he has scored an astonishing 68 goals in 67 appearances for Der BVB.

That progress has been halted in recent weeks, after being ruled out of Dortmund’s last three matches with a thigh injury. He was subsequently ruled out of Norway’s squad for their World Cup qualifiers against Turkey and Montenegro.

The 21-year-old is expected to return to action for Borussia Dortmund’s Bundesliga fixture at home to Mainz on Saturday.

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