Manchester City have been linked with Erling Haaland but Pep Guardiola says it is unlikely the club will sign a striker this summer, with the prices being quoted for top talent making it ‘impossible’; City face Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday
Pep Guardiola says Manchester City may decide to spend over £100m on one player in the future but remained coy on speculation linking the club with Erling Haaland.
Borussia Dortmund striker Haaland is one of Europe’s hottest prospects. His agent Mino Raiola travelled to Spain this week with the player’s father to discuss terms with Real Madrid and Barcelona about a potential transfer.
City have also been strongly linked with the 20-year-old but Guardiola recently said it is unlikely the club will sign a striker this summer to replace the outgoing Sergio Aguero, with the prices being quoted for top talent making it “impossible”.
Despite their considerable financial backing, City are wary of Financial Fair Play rules and Haaland’s valuation of more than £100m may price them out of a deal. Their transfer record remains the £65m they paid to sign Riyad Mahez from Leicester in 2018.
Asked if he can see City spending £100m or above on a player, Guardiola said ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg against Dortmund: “So far the club have decided not to spend close to £100m or more than £100m for a player.
“Maybe in the future, it’s going to happen when the club decide it’s necessary to improve the team for the next five or 10 years.
“But so far the club, the organisation, the CEO, the sporting director, have decided not to do it and that’s why they haven’t done it. Maybe in the future, I don’t know.”
On the potential value of Haaland, the City boss added: “I don’t know. It is a question for Borussia Dortmund and his agent.
“I understand people ask about Haaland, he is an exceptional striker, but it is not appropriate for me to talk about him.”
City are through to the last eight of the Champions League for a fourth year in succession but have been knocked out at this stage in each of the past three seasons.
Their pursuit of an unprecedented Quadruple continues but Guardiola insists their form in other competitions is not relevant ahead of their quest to make history.
“Why should we win the other competitions just because we are leading the Premier League?” he said.
“The only concern is to try to win the game. Win this game and after comes Leeds, and after we go to Dortmund to win that game.
“If we play good and deserve it we go through. If not, we will try next season.”
Terzic: Haaland speculation has no impact
Despite the increasing speculation over Haaland, Dortmund boss Edin Terzic is relaxed over the situation, believing it has no impact on his side’s preparations for their Champions League clash with City.
On Haaland’s agent Mino Raiola and father Alf-Inge Haaland travelling to Spain to meet representatives of Barcelona and Real Madrid, Terzic said: “It doesn’t have any impact on me because I can’t stop them from travelling, it’s up to them.
“I can only have an impact on Erling and we are happy to have him in our team.
“He’s back with us since being away with Norway and the feeling we have is that he is very happy to see us and we are very happy to have him around.
“He’s a lovely guy and his qualities are well known over the world and we are proud and happy he is part of our team.”
Terzic also confirmed England international Jadon Sancho will not face his former club as he remains in Germany to continue his rehabilitation from an injury which has sidelined him since the start of March
The Dortmund boss would not be drawn on speculation linking Sancho with a move in the summer if the club, currently fifth in the Bundesliga, fail to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
“For the future it’s hard to tell. First of all, we still have seven games left in the Bundesliga to qualify for the Champions League,” Terzic said.
“Of course it’s a bit difficult now at the minute, but it’s still possible. We’re going to try our best to make it possible and then at the end of the season we’ll see what’s going to happen next.”