The transfer of Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund to Manchester City is the hottest topic in football.
The Norwegian star has moved to City for a fee of just €60 million, with the reigning Premier League champions exercising a release clause in his Dortmund contract.
Read: Erling Haaland release clause: Man City deal is the latest in a history of careful moves
That figure is far from the previously rumoured cost of signing the Norwegian star, which was said to be between €250 million and €300 million, including release clause, salary and agent fee.
Premier League sides such as Manchester United were linked with a move. At the same time, a switch to Spain and either Barcelona or Real Madrid was also considered to be on the cards. However, Haaland eventually opted for the blue side of Manchester.
The saga of his transfer has been long, but for Borussia Dortmund, it is all too familiar.
Here are the five most exhausting Borussia Dortmund transfer sagas:
Jadon Sancho was the central figure in one of the most protracted and drawn-out transfer sagas in recent history.
Last summer, the 21-year-old joined Manchester United in a £73 million move, but it came after years of speculation.
Sancho was part of Manchester City‘s youth academy before moving to Dortmund in 2017, but it was not long before rumours of a return to the city emerged.
At Dortmund, Sancho was one of the league’s best players. He scored 12 goals in 34 appearances in the 2018-19 season.
A mixture of talent plus his young age had clubs like United interested in acquiring his services.
Their first approach came in 2020, but Dortmund rejected their £91.3m bid.
The following summer, United bid £67 million, which was again rejected before they upped the offer to £73 million and got their man.
While Sancho’s departure from Dortmund was amicable, Ousmane Dembele‘s was the opposite.
Reports of Dembele wanting to leave first surfaced in 2017 following the sacking of now-Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel.
Chelsea and United were among the clubs keen to sign the young Frenchman. But then the Neymar transfer changed everything.
Barcelona found themselves with a wallet full of cash and a superstar-shaped hole on the left wing.
Not only did the £200 million fee for Neymar inflate players’ values, but it also let the world know that Barcelona had money to spend.
Dortmund knew that the Spanish club was interested, and so did Dembele, who subsequently didn’t turn up to training.
Players missing training to force through a move is nothing new, but Dortmund did not back down.
Head coach Peter Bosz said the club would fine Dembele over his unexplained absence.
It is perhaps Lewandowski‘s transfer that will hurt Dortmund fans the most.
The Polish striker is one of, if not the, best forwards in football.
He was named FIFA’s Best Men’s Player, and only a global pandemic could stop him from winning the Ballon d’Or,
But when he left Dortmund, the German club received nothing for the transfer.
In a season that saw him guide Dortmund to the Champions League final, his contract was set to expire the following summer.
Dortmund chiefs were eager to extend their star player’s deal, but Lewandowski refused. At the time, reports claimed he had agreed to terms with an unnamed club suspected to be Bayern.
Then Bayern announced another Dortmund player, Mario Gotze, would join them for a record fee. The announcement seemed particularly pointed as it came on the eve of Dortmund’s Champions League semi-final against Madrid.
The following January came, allowing soon-to-be out-of-contract players to sign pre-contracts with other clubs, and Dortmund fans’ worst fear was confirmed.
Lewandowski was not only heading to Bayern, but he was doing so without a penny coming in the other direction.
Another player to leave Dortmund in bitter circumstances is Arsenal‘s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
As the third top-scorer in the club’s history, Aubameyang should be a Dortmund legend, but the manner of his departure means he is not.
Wanting a move away, ESPN reported that Aubameyang skipped a team meeting – ironically focused on team spirit – and all 19 of his touches were booed in his final match.
It was the Gabon international’s third suspension within two seasons for disciplinary measures.
He eventually did force through his move but not before burning any bridges for a possible return to the German side.
Chelsea completed the signing of Pulisic quickly, but rumours about the American’s future had circulated since the summer before.
In 2018, Premier League clubs’ were interested in Pulisic, who was about to start his third season at Dortmund.
Liverpool and Chelsea led the race to sign the highly-converted youngster.
Unlike other players, Pulisic did not have long left on his contract and had rejected an extension with an eye on a move elsewhere.
Having let Robert Lewandowski move on a free to fierce rivals Bayern Munich, Dortmund were not keen to do so again.
Chelsea came in with £58 million and the offer to loan Pulisic back to the German club for the remainder of the season, which Dortmund accepted.
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