Pep Guardiola warns it will be ‘impossible’ for Manchester City to sign a striker like £154m man Erling Haaland if clubs demand huge fees because even City ‘can’t afford it’… but does admit his side will look to replace Sergio Aguero
Pep Guardiola confirmed Manchester City will attempt to sign a striker this summer but warned they refuse to be held to ransom.
Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland, who is valued at £154million, is considered City’s preferred target as they attempt to replace the goals left behind by Sergio Aguero’s departure.
Yet Guardiola insisted the Premier League leaders are no different to their rivals in having to balance the books.
Erling Haaland has been heavily linked with several of Europe’s top clubs, including Man City
Sergio Aguero will leave the Etihad this summer as the club’s all-time top goalscorer
The Catalan’s steadfast comments – made 24 hours after Mino Raiola and Alfie Haaland travelled to Spain for meetings – suggested City may have balked at figures demanded by selling clubs.
‘I want to be clear,’ Guardiola said. ‘Maybe, maybe we are going to find a new player to replace Sergio. In terms of numbers, it is almost impossible. In terms of what he means to this club, it is impossible.
‘Listen, with these prices we are not going to buy a striker. We cannot afford it. All the clubs struggle financially and we are not an exception. Maybe we are going to buy, maybe we don’t. Today there is more chance that we won’t.
‘We have enough players in the first team, interesting players in the academy. There is a big chance, given the world economic problems, that we are not going to sign a striker.’
City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barcelona are all at the front of the pack chasing Haaland’s signature – if the price is right.
Pep Guardiola has insisted City won’t be held to ransom by clubs in their search for a striker
Guardiola has included teenager Liam Delap in his first-team group for the majority of the season and spoke glowingly of City’s academy prospects.
‘We had Gabriel (Jesus), Ferran (Torres), the academy, we play many times with a false nine,’ he added.
‘Liam is training with us this season. Like with Brahim (Diaz) and Phil (Foden). Liam, Felix Nmecha, Cole Palmer, James McAtee, Luke Mbete – many players are training well with us.
‘We’re in touch with Enzo (Maresca, Under-23 manager) all the time, talking about how they develop. Next season Liam will be with us, training every day.’
Liam Delap could be given a chance to shine in City’s first team next season in place of Aguero