According to reports that emerged on Monday evening, Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland could be on the verge of a record-breaking move to the Premier League this summer with Manchester City.
Per the Daily Mail, City chiefs have already agreed a deal with the Norwegian’s personal representatives worth a staggering £500,000 per-week – and are ready to pay his £62 million release clause – should he decide to join Pep Guardiola’s side.
Although City are still chasing glory both domestically and in Europe this season, their desire to bring in a genuine frontman to lead the line at the Etihad is no secret, especially after they were unable to secure the services of Tottenham’s Harry Kane last summer.
Haaland might have enormous salary expectations, but his track record arguably justifies them.
His return of 82 goals in 85 appearances for Dortmund is outrageous – and those numbers are the reason that he looks set to become the highest-paid player by a single club in Premier League history.
Just how, though, does Haaland’s mammoth proposed weekly wage compare to those that have come before him.
The highest-paid player in every Premier League season
1992/93 – John Barnes (£10,000-per-week)
1993/94 – John Barnes (£10,000-per-week)
Liverpool playmaker Barnes was the first Premier League star to command a five-figure weekly salary and would remain the top earner for the competition’s first two seasons.
If things pan out, Haaland will earn that same £10,000 in less than three-and-a-half hours next season.
1994/95 – Eric Cantona (£18,000-per-week)
The Frenchman’s starring role in Manchester United’s first two Premier League title wins saw the club reward him with a vastly improved new deal.
1995/96 – Dennis Bergkamp (£25,000-per-week)
To entice the Dutch genius to come and play in the Premier League in 1995, Arsenal had to shatter their wage structure. In hindsight, Bergkamp was worth every penny.
1996/97 – Fabrizio Ravanelli (£42,000-per-week)
Middlesbrough paid Ravanelli an incredible salary by the standards of the time, but an impressive 32 goals in 48 games in his only season on Teeside more than justified the club’s outlay.
1997/98 – Alan Shearer (£34,000-per-week)
1998/99 – Alan Shearer (£34,000-per-week)
After Ravanelli departed the Premier League for Marseille, the mantle of the Premier League’s highest-paid player passed to Newcastle legend Shearer, who would ultimately go on to become the competitions greatest ever goalscorer.
1999/00 – Roy Keane (£52,000-per-week)
2000/01 – Roy Keane (£52,000-per-week)
2001/02 – Roy Keane (£90,000-per-week)
2002/03 – Roy Keane (£90,000-per-week)
Keane broke the £50,000-per-week barrier when he agreed a fresh contract at Man United in late 1999. A further pay rise two years later saw him retain the crown of the competition’s top earner until 2003.
2003/04 – Hernan Crespo (£94,000-per-week)
Crespo was well compensated during his time at Chelsea, but 25 goals in 73 games isn’t quite the return that fans of the club would have been hoping for when he signed.
2004/05 – Frank Lampard (£98,000-per-week)
Considerably more fondly remembered in west London than Crespo, Lampard put pen-to-paper on a new Chelsea deal worth close to six figures in 2004.
2005/06 – Steven Gerrard (£100,000-per-week)
The Premier League’s first-ever £100,000-per-week player. Gerrard’s legendary status at Anfield to this day tells you that ‘Stevie G’ was more than worth whatever the Reds paid him.
2006/07 – Andriy Shevchenko (£118,000-per-week)
Roman Abramovich forked out a sizeable six figures in wages each week to AC Milan legend Shevchenko, but things never panned out for the Ukrainian striker at Chelsea.
2007/08 – John Terry (£135,000-per-week)
After captaining Chelsea to a pair of Premier League titles, the club showed their gratitude towards Terry with a record-breaking new contract.
2008/09 – Robinho (£160,000-per-week)
Proof that record-breaking deals don’t always work out as intended, Brazilian forward Robinho spent just two seasons at the Man City, contributing only 16 goals in 53 appearances.
2009/10 – Carlos Tevez (£250,000-per-week)
2010/11 – Carlos Tevez (£250,000-per-week)
2011/12 – Carlos Tevez (£250,000-per-week)
2012/13 – Carlos Tevez (£250,000-per-week)
In order to snatch Tevez from fierce local rivals United, Man City had to part with a hefty £250,000-per-week for his services. It wasn’t the worst investment either as he helped City to their inaugural Premier League title triumph in 2011/12.
2013/14 – Wayne Rooney (£300,000-per-week)
2014/15 – Wayne Rooney (£300,000-per-week)
2015/16 – Wayne Rooney (£300,000-per-week)
2016/17 – Wayne Rooney (£300,000-per-week)
The club’s all time record goalscorer and one of the greatest players in the history of the Premier League, Man United recognised Rooney’s considerable contributions with a £300,000-per-week deal in February 2014.
2018/19 – Alexis Sanchez (£350,000-per-week)
During his four-year stint at Arsenal, Sanchez operated at an impressive level. Almost from the moment he arrived at Man United, the Chilean forward looked a shadow of his former self. Not a successful investment from the Red Devils.
2019/20 – David de Gea (£375,000-per-week)
After many years of loyal service and exceptional performances, De Gea was rewarded with a bumper contract in 2019 by Man United. He’s more than justified that wage this season too, as arguably the club’s best performer this term.
2020/21 – Gareth Bale (£560,000-per-week)
The largest figure on this list, although Spurs reportedly only paid 40% (£224,000) of Bale’s insane weekly Real Madrid wage of £560,000 while he was on loan in north London last season.
2021/22 – Cristiano Ronaldo (£480,000-per-week) – Season to date
It is generally accepted that five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo isn’t the player he was during his prime. That said, the Portuguese icon is still Man United’s top goalscorer since his deadline day move from Juventus last summer.
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A mixed bag down the years, to say the least. Big money doesn’t always guarantee top performances.
It remains to be seen whether Haaland will be able to justify his £26m annual pay packet should he join Man City in the summer.
Haaland to Man City (Reaction via The Football Terrace)