Jurgen Klopp feels Erling Haaland moving to Manchester City will ‘set new levels’ but has backed Liverpool to keep competing with the champions.
Haaland, 21, has become the hottest property in European football over the past three years. After bagging 29 goals from 27 appearances in all competitions for Austrian club Red Bull Salzburg, he joined Borussia Dortmund in January 2020. It was thought he might move to one of Europe’s biggest clubs but BVB continued their trend of snaring young talent.
The Norway international carried on finding the net with alarming regularity. He scored 16 times from 18 outings in the second half of 2019-2020 and was on target 41 times from as many games last term.
Despite missing many matches through injury this season, the talented youngster has notched 28 goals from 29 appearances. Unsurprisingly, he has been linked with many top clubs.
Real Madrid, Barcelona and Chelsea have all been mentioned in connection with the Scandinavian. But reports claim City have got their man and may even confirm the transfer this week.
And Klopp has now responded to the news that Haaland looks set to grace the Etihad.
“If Erling Haaland goes there, it will not weaken them – definitely not,” he told reporters. “I think it’s been spoken about enough and at the moment it’s a lot of talk about money but this transfer will set new levels, let me say it like that.”
Klopp unfazed by Man City Haaland capture
Manchester City are favourites to defend their Premier League title. Their 5-0 thrashing of Newcastle United opened up a three-point lead over Liverpool with three games to go.
They had one foot in the Champions League final until Real Madrid’s amazing last-gasp heroics saw them eliminated. The north-west outfit remain the benchmark for other teams to reach and Haaland will only make them stronger.
But Klopp preferred to focus on his own side and remains positive about Liverpool’s future.
“I signed a new contract knowing that City will not stop developing. So it’s not about if City keep flying whether we can be happy or not,” he added.
“It’s about us and what we can make of it. We have so many opportunities and so many different ways to win a football game, and we to find just one.
“That’s possible, obviously, and we can do that.”
The Mirror are reporting that Haaland’s medical has already been completed in Belgium. His goalscoring prowess will make City an even more formidable unit but Liverpool are not short of superstars themselves.
And it may be that the Reds respond with a big-money signing of their own before the start of 2022-2023.