Pep Guardiola could hand Erling Haaland dream Man City shirt number with transfer decision
Erling Haaland could be handed his dream shirt number when he arrives at Manchester City — but it would depend on the future of Gabriel Jesus.
City moved quick to pull off the deal of the transfer window before it had even opened by confirming they had agreed a deal with Borrusia Dortmund for the signing of Haaland. The Blues will pay a transfer fee of £51million but additional fees will take the whole package up to approximately £86million.
Haaland — who is currently continuing his fine scoring form while on international duty with Norway — has yet be officially unveiled as a City player with the move not happening until July 1. As a result, the scoring sensation is yet to be handed his shirt number for his new club.
Owing to Pep Guardiola’s small squad, there are plenty of number options available for Haaland to pick, but his favourite No.9 is currently occupied. The 21-year-old wears the jersey for his country and also wore it at Dortmund after swapping from the No.17 he first wore after joining the German side from Red Bull Salzburg.
Gabriel Jesus currently wears the No.9 for City and has done so since swapping from the No.33 in 2019. However, the Brazilian forward’s future at the Etihad is in doubt.
Jesus was unable to make the central striker role his own last season following the departure of Sergio Aguero, which made the signing of Haaland much-needed. With Guardiola now having so many attacking options, there is a chance one forward could depart this summer and Jesus or Raheem Sterling seem the most likely candidates.
The 25-year-old’s contract expires next year, too, which has alerted some clubs to the prospect of being able to get the talented forward at a potentially lower price. Real Madrid, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and AC Milan have all been linked.
Should he depart after five years in Manchester, the No.9 would be available for Haaland to take. If that doesn’t happen, though, there are plenty of other viable options for City’s star signing.
Aside from No.17 — taken by Kevin de Bruyne — the other shirt numbers that Haaland has previously worn at club level are available. He wore No.30 at Salzburg and Molde while at first club Bryne FK he sported No.19. The No.15 which his father, Alf Inge Haaland, wore during his time at City is also up for grabs.