By Oliver Trust
BERLIN, May 10 (Xinhua) -- Tuesday's breaking news didn't come as a surprise for Borussia Dortmund's supporters.
Rumors talking of the departure of Erling Haaland, heading for Manchester City, and the signing of Salzburg's Karim Adeyemi as the Norwegian's replacement had been ruling the Black and Yellows headlines over the past days.
It seemed in the clubs' interest, to announce both cases simultaneously for various reasons.
The listed club has to obey stock-market rules. At the same time, it seemed a good idea to please fans with a convincing plan of how to return to international success without the man, that turned into a goal machine in the club's shirt.
85 goals in 88 competitive games had caused the interest of several top European sides with Man City crossing the line as first. The repeated failure might have encouraged Man City coach Pep Guardiola, to end the race by going all in.
Both Haaland and Adeyemi signed five-year-contracts. The 20-year-old and three-times capped German international is Borussia's third new arrival after defenders Niklas Sule (Bayern) and Nico Schlotterbeck (Freiburg) joined.
Speeding up their next season plans might be one of the clubs' answers to how to survive when Haaland is gone after two and a half years in the yellow shirt.
The news met with a divided response as some fans complained about the ongoing unrest around Haaland coming along with early exits in the Champions League and the German Cup.
Club CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke tried to ease the tensions by assuring "we will find a replacement as we always did." But more than ever, the club boss was forced to issue international statements as the German national league is going to lose one of its main attractions.
The 21-year-old might have missed 26 games due to an injury between November 2020 and January 2022, but quickly had turned into one of the Bundesliga's crowd pullers.
Winning the German Cup once might be far from a stunning series but the striker was loved by fans as a natural force addressing the highest international standards.
Not long ago, Watzke spoke about concerns, that the German league might lose ground in international markets. Today's fans follow their heroes no matter in what shirt they play, he stated.
The 2012 German champion accepting an exit clause worth between 60 and 75 million euros made the courted spearhead and his agent agree on the deal in 2019.
With a weekly salary of a reported 350,000 pounds joining the Citizens seems more than just coming home for the Haaland clan as father Alf-Inge had played for the Sky-Blues from 2000 to 2003 following contracts at Nottingham Forest and Leeds United.
Haaland junior was born just a one-hour drive away from Manchester in Leeds.
While Haaland might find himself ahead of a warm farewell in Dortmund's last season game against Hertha this Saturday, his job profile in Manchester contains nothing less than the expectation of helping to win the Champions League.
The overall balance of Haaland's time in Dortmund might be seen as positive.
His departure however gives proof of the Bundesliga having lost ground compared to the financially better-oiled Premier League and leading clubs in Spain and Italy.