Man City boss Pep Guardiola's blunt two-word reply to Erling Haaland transfer question
Manchester City are considered frontrunners for Erling Haaland's signature
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has refused to play up to increasing speculation of Erling Haaland's potential summer arrival. The Premier League champions are linked to a blockbuster move for Haaland, who has a £63million release clause in his Borussia Dortmund contract.
According to MailSport, Man City have agreed a staggering deal with the 21-year-old striker after discussing personal terms and the framework of the transfer. But BILD report it will be a far bigger transfer than the £63m fee, with the Citizens set to pay in excess of £300m in total over a five-year deal.
The German outlet claims Man City will pay £8.4m in bonuses based on sporting success, as well as a jaw-dropping £67.1m between Haaland's agent Mino Raiola and his father, Alf-Inge. Add that to his £33.6m annual salary and it will comfortably be one of the heftiest transfers in football history.
Ahead of this weekend's FA Cup quarter-final clash at Southampton, Guardiola was quizzed over City's interest in Haaland. However, the Catalan coach gave away no hints as to what stage the deal is at, providing a two-word response: "Dortmund player."
He continued: "Since I'm here, every month, we are going to sign 50 players. Right now, it's impossible that I'm going to talk about some guys who aren't here. Haaland is a Dortmund player. You can ask for this player or another one. The transfer window is going to start, and many things will happen.
"Maybe I speak about this club needs a striker for the next five, six, seven years maybe once in 12 months. I'm not going to be the guy with the success because we didn't have a striker. It's important that if you play well, seven or eight players arrive in the box. This is the best way."
Haaland joining City is a terrifying prospect for the club's rivals, both domestically and in Europe, as they continue their spell of dominance under Guardiola. The Etihad Stadium outfit are in good shape to replicate their bitter rivals, Manchester United's 1999 treble success this season.
And even if they fall short, Haaland's arrival would be a significant boost in their hopes of being the first English club to match the Red Devils' feat. But they will be confident of lifting at least one of the 'big ones' this term and will grow ever closer with a win at Southampton. City currently lead Liverpool in the Premier League table by one point.