Things change, but the fact City maintained the Kane pursuit for as long as we did, suggests they will have some sort of inside track on Haaland's thought processes.
If I'm looking at City at the moment, I'm asking about whether Pep will still be managing beyond next season.
By the same logic, the fact City didn't really go for Kane in the end and decided to bin it, would suggest that thought process, or any other target we looked at, might he encouraging enough, otherwise surely would have gone a lot heavier for Kane.
I don't think we maintained the pursuit as much as is assumed. There was only really one supposed bid rumoured. At a push 2 if we try really hard to convince ourselves. Which to me feels like he was an option rather than the main target. Probably felt it was doable when the player wanted it, but at a much lower price, and walked away with lots of time left.
Lets see what January or next summer brings, so much can change by then.
On your final point, all the lore reason to target players that are right for the club, and not for a manager. Long term. Not that I think there is much in it at this point.