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Erling Braut Haaland 'overtakes Lionel Messi as Man City's top transfer target'

Haaland 'overtakes Messi as Man City's top transfer target'
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Manchester City are set to prioritise a move for Borussia Dortmund's Erling Braut Haaland over Barcelona's Lionel Messi this summer, according to a report.

Borussia Dortmund forward Erling Braut Haaland has reportedly overtaken Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi as Manchester City's top transfer target for the summer window.

The Citizens will be waving goodbye to club record goalscorer Sergio Aguero this summer, which would leave Gabriel Jesus as the only recognised senior striker in Pep Guardiola's ranks.

City have been linked with a host of big names as they bid to replace the departing Aguero, but Guardiola has claimed that signing a world-class striker at this moment in time is "almost impossible" given the current economic climate.

However, The Mirror reports that Guardiola is secretly harbouring ambitions of an audacious transfer for Haaland, and the club are now set to prioritise a move for the Norwegian over Messi, who is understood to be leaning towards a new Barcelona deal.

The report adds that City could offer to waive the 15% sell-on clause they inserted in Jadon Sancho's contract to boost their chances of signing Haaland, but Guardiola is not willing to cave in to Mino Raiola's demands of a £600k weekly wage for his client, and Dortmund's £130m asking price could also prove problematic.

Haaland has struck 33 goals in 32 games for Dortmund across all competitions this term, but he failed to find the target as Edin Terzic's men suffered a 2-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

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Borussia Dortmund's Erling Braut Haaland on his knees on March 6, 2021
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Thursday's key events

· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

· With Simone Biles now out of the women's all-around final, the competition has been blown wide open. Team GB twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova are among those taking part (11.50am-2.05pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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