Former Bayern Munich transfer target Erling Haaland set a handful of scoring records in England this past season and was able to celebrate a treble with his Manchester City teammates when all was said and done.
Pep Guardiola finally reached the pinnacle of his tenure as City manager by winning the traditional treble and finally lifting the Champions League title with the Citizens; something that had persistently evaded him in all of his previous seasons as manager of the Premier League’s powerhouse.
With how many goals he’s scored for City, it might already seem like it was an eternity ago, but Haaland was once heavily linked with a move to Bayern Munich to become the natural successor at the club for Robert Lewandowski. He was labeled as such with good reason as he was largely considered to be the second-best striker in the Bundesliga, but ultimately chose to go to Manchester City for a fee of around €60 million euros, which is hindsight, seems like absolute pennies for the Norwegian international.
Bayern did have talks with him last summer, and for a while, it was a realistic option that he would potentially join the club, but there was a lot of financial risk involved for Bayern. In a recent interview with Bild (transcribed via @iMiaSanMia), new CEO Jan-Christian Dreesen said there’s not too much regret attached to not signing Haaland last summer, as not everything would’ve been lined up for the long term. “We had good conversations. But you have to put a stop sign at some point. Maximum sporting success with economic stability - that means have to try to be reasonable,” he explained.
Right now, Haaland earns roughly €400,000 per week and €22 million per year, plus all of the performance-based add-ons at Manchester City. He currently has a release clause in his five-year contract worth 200 million euros, similar to the clauses both Neymar Jr and Lionel Messi have had in their contacts when they were both still with Barcelona. At Bayern, Sadio Mane is the only player currently on wages as high as Haaland’s at City, and there was naturally a fear that they would have to restructure their wage distributions if they had signed Haaland.
For Dreesen, he understands that values at Bayern and very much does not believe in just throwing ridiculous sums of cash around for players that may, or may not, work out at the club. “It’s all irrational, to be honest (current transfer fees and wages). These magnitudes of numbers - if someone had told me that ten years ago, I would not have believed it. We try to approach this with reason. We also have to become smarter when it comes to our academy,” he said, making reference to the club’s emphasis on homegrown talent and how much they recently invested in Bayern’s youth campus.