Man City pull ahead in race for Erling Haaland as Real Madrid keep faith in Karim Benzema

Manchester City fell to a 3-2 defeat against Liverpool in their FA Cup semi-final clash earlier today at Wembley, with the Reds remaining on track for a potential historic quadruple under boss Jürgen Klopp this season.

But that defeat will hardly mean much in the grand scheme of things when Pep Guardiola and the City hierarchy begin to plan for next season's transfer merry-go-round, and they now may have been gifted a clear line of sight at Borussia Dortmund starlet Erling Haaland.

As reported by AS and cited by Actu Foot, Spanish giants Real Madrid - once heavily interested in the 21-year-old Norwegian hitman - are said to be pulling away from their interest in the Leeds-born center forward on account of the form of key striker Karim Benzema.

Sports Illustrated yesterday offered additional information on any deal that City would be looking to pull off for Haaland come the summer window, which could now see the holding Premier League champions attempt to stagger their payments to Dortmund rather than offer up a lump sum figure to the Ruhr valley club.

That report cited an exclusive in 90min and stated "the Premier League club could offer Borussia Dortmund a deal in which they pay more than the £63 million asking fee but will stagger the payments out over time."

While Man City have continued to garner results without a true center forward after club icon Sergio Agüero left in the summer for Barcelona before unfortunately calling time on his career early due to heart-health concerns, the recruitment of a traditional striker of Haaland's profile would go a long way towards helping Guardiola re-tool his City outfit for yet another run on all competitive fronts next season.

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