Mark Irwin: Haaland and Nunez make deals that put Prem in the SPL while Man City and Liverpool leave the rest and battle for third place

SEVEN days into the transfer window and next season’s title race has already been decided.

Yes folks, it will be Manchester City vs Liverpool again.

Man City have shaken Chelsea and Co's chances of breaking into the Premier League top 2 with the signing of Erling Haaland

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Man City have shaken Chelsea and Co’s chances of breaking into the Premier League top 2 with the signing of Erling HaalandPhoto credit: Getty
Darwin Nunez joined Liverpool to further suggest the Reds and City can keep a stranglehold on the Prem title race

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Darwin Nunez joined Liverpool to further suggest the Reds and City can keep a stranglehold on the Prem title racePhoto credit: Getty

That’s the grim reality following this week’s signings of Erling Haaland and Darwin Nunez.

Because two teams that were at least 18 points ahead of their pursuers last season are now even stronger.

That means the Premier League is in danger of devolving into LaLiga or, heaven forbid, the Scottish Premier League, where two superpowers totally dominate and the rest just fight for the side spots.

Champions City have paid out £51.4million to sign human Terminator Haaland from Borussia Dortmund.

Bissouma SURVIVES Tottenham Medical, Liverpool AGREE £5.5m Calvin Ramsay deal
Man City lead Chelsea in £50m transfer race for Marc Cucurella

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And although his wages and various filing fees will push their total spending to around £180million over the next five years, it’s not as if the owners are missing a bob or two.

Even more worrying for any rivals of a side that scored 150 goals last season is the news that Haaland will be joined at the Etihad by Julian Alvarez, the Argentina international who is already earning comparisons to his compatriot Sergio Aguero.

Liverpool’s response to City’s letter of intent was to pay a potential club-record fee of £85.3m for Benfica’s Darwin Nunez.

Even if Sadio Mane leaves Anfield this summer – and that’s by no means certain – Jurgen Klopp will still have Nunez, Mo Salah, Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino to choose from.

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Manchester United did their best to convince Nunez to turn down Kop’s offer in favor of a move to Old Trafford.

But that should never happen in a million years and now United are staggering from one goal to the next like a drunk at a disco.

Frenkie de Jong isn’t exactly desperate to leave Barcelona for a reunion with manager Erik ten Hag.

And one gets the impression that United are now the absolute last resort for any aspiring footballer looking for a new opportunity this summer.

Chelsea are still trying to pick up the pieces after losing their oligarchic owner. . . and most of their defenses.

And now their £97.5million record-breaking Romelu Lukaku is starting again, desperately trying to force his way off Stamford Bridge.

Arsenal have, as always, been linked with every other player in Europe but have so far only been able to complete the £3million signing of unknown Brazilian Marquinhos.

And while there’s still plenty of time to strengthen their razor-thin squad over the next 11 weeks, know they won’t be signing anyone to worry Klopp or Pep Guardiola.

Which leaves only Tottenham, who broke the habits of their lives to do their transfer business early and now look like a good bet to finish next season as each other’s best.

Man Utd face an uphill battle to persuade Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong to leave Barcelona, ​​which he ranks as the greatest club in the world

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Man Utd face an uphill battle to persuade Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong to leave Barcelona, ​​which he ranks as the greatest club in the worldPhoto credit: Getty

It’s one of Spurs chairman Daniel Levy’s most cherished traditions, haggling over every deal until the last minute of the window.

But faced with the threat of losing the demanding Antonio Conte, he has panicked to pay whatever is required without cutting corners.

So now they have Cristian Romero and Dejan Kulusevski on permanent contracts, Ivan Perisic and Fraser Forster are already in the bag and Yves Bissouma is about to put pen to paper.

Like Haaland, Alvarez and Nunez, this means the newcomers are available to start pre-season training, get to know their teammates and have settled into the area ahead of their opening game on August 6.

It probably won’t be enough to smash the City-Liverpool duopoly, but at least Spurs are making a fist of it.

FINGER AND WOES

ENGLAND scored a barely believable 838 runs to win the second Test against the Kiwis, probably more than they have managed in a whole new series.

But the catch standard at Trent Bridge was absolutely appalling.

The ball was thrown into the crowd 24 times by Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Daryl Mitchell and even Joe Root.

But none remained in the hands of the drunken Butterfingers, who ducked for cover from the air raid.

The closest anyone came to a catch was when a Mitchell missile landed in a punter’s pint.

Field training is definitely on the agenda for Headingley next week.

A CASE OF CROSSED ‘GUIRES

POOR old Harry Maguire seems to get the back of his neck for everything these days.

The Manchester United centre-back was booed onto the pitch when he arrived as a late England sub on Tuesday night.

They had probably been following the BBC website, which accused him of ‘shockingly defending’ Hungary’s first goal… 70 minutes before he came on.

ON THE RIGHT ROAD

A REAL heartbreaking moment when an invitation to attend an event hosted by Jamal Khashoggi landed in my inbox at a Saudi Embassy.

Luckily, it turned out to be the naming of a Washington DC street by the protest group Democracy for the Arab World Now.

Rather than having the opportunity to get up close and personal with Crown Prince Bonesaw and his henchmen.

https://www.the-sun.com/sport/football/premier-league/5577624/man-city-liverpool-premier-league-haaland-nunez-irwin-comment/ Mark Irwin: Haaland and Nunez make deals that put Prem in the SPL while Man City and Liverpool leave the rest and battle for third place

ClareFora

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