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“I found out” – Napoli chief claims Erling Haaland transfer plan dramatically thwarted by agent



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Manchester City striker Erling Haaland was reportedly prevented from signing for Napoli, according to new claims by the club’s president.

The 23-year-old signed for Manchester City for £51 million in July 2022 from Borussia Dortmund, as Pep Guardiola’s side beat Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Barcelona to the signature of the striker.

Haaland scored 52 goals in 53 appearances during his debut campaign at the Etihad Stadium last season, smashing a number of goalscoring records and helping Manchester City become the first team since 1999 to complete the treble – winning the Premier League, Champions League and Emirates FA Cup.

The Norwegian has scored 29 goals in 33 appearances so far this season for the Sky Blues, but missed a number of matches due to a foot injury, including Manchester City’s victorious FIFA Club World Cup campaign.

Despite signing a five-year deal at the Etihad Stadium the 23-year-old has been linked with a potential exit to Real Madrid, leading to claims of upcoming fresh contract extension talks due to a release clause within Haaland’s current deal.

Prior to signing for both City and Dortmund the striker played for RB Salzburg, where Haaland’s career could potentially have taken a drastically different path, following revelations by Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis.

Sport Witness have relayed quotes from Corriere dello Sport, where the Napoli president reveals that Mino Raiola thwarted attempts by Napoli to sign the 23-year-old directly from Austria.

“Haaland was very close to Napoli. He was at Salzburg. I found out he was a very strong player, and I wanted to buy him. He cost €50m,” De Laurentiis revealed.

“My managers were worried, but then [Mino] Raiola took me into a room and asked me to avoid him: he already had the future mapped out for the player.”

Raiola died in April 2022 prior to Haaland completing a move to Manchester City, with the Norway international now represented by 51-year-old Rafaela Pimenta.