Manchester City bosses believe winning the Premier League this season will help them beat Chelsea to the signing of Erling Haaland in a £100m deal.
Pep Guardiola has made Haaland his No.1 choice to replace Sergio Aguero and City chairman Khaldoon Al-Mubarak is willing to sanction a move for the Borussia Dortmund sensation this summer.
Haaland has a £68m release clause in his contract that is due to come into effect in 2022.
But City chiefs are not prepared to wait until then and are becoming increasingly confident of being able to lure the Norwegian international to the Etihad before the start of next season.
City are on course to become English champions again – and reckon winning the title will be the deal breaker when it comes to negotiations with the 20-year-old and his representatives.
If Haaland agrees to link up with Guardiola's men he would become one of the highest paid stars in Europe on a deal worth close to £400,000-a-week.
Haaland has plundered 38 goals in 33 starts for Dortmund to become the most sought-after hitman in European football.
Guardiola signed a contract extension earlier this season on the condition he would be given whoever he wanted to make City the dominant force in English football once again – as well as win the Champions League.
The Spaniard knows replacing Aguero will be his biggest challenge since taking charge in 2016 – but believes Haaland is good enough to fill the boots of the Argentine legend.
Aguero, 32, has missed most of the season through injury and illness and will be out of contract in June.
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The club's record goalscorer is expected to return to Argentina to finish his career and Guardiola is already planning for life without him.
The Blues are one of several clubs desperate to land Haaland, but City have the finances to blow their rivals out of the water and also know the prospect of playing under Guardiola will be a hard one for the youngster to ignore.
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