Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

What Pep Guardiola said about Erling Haaland before Man City confirmed transfer

Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland claps

Pep Guardiola responded to questions about Erling Haaland at a press conference, shortly before Manchester City announced they had reached an agreement with Dortmund for the signing.

According to Fabrizio Romano, Haaland passed his medical to join City on Monday. He states the fee will be closer to £51million than £64m, as has previously been claimed.

On Monday afternoon, a club statement revealed talks between Manchester City and Dortmund had resulted in an ‘agreement in principle’.

It means Haaland will play under Guardiola next season, as long as the Citizens can sort out personal terms with the striker.

The move will see the 21-year-old follow in the footsteps of his father, Alf-Inge Haaland, who made 45 appearances for City in the early 2000s.

Guardiola and City will aim to win the Premier League title before Haaland’s arrival this summer. They have a three-point lead on Liverpool with three matches remaining.

The first of those games is a trip to Wolves on Wednesday evening. At the pre-match press conference, Guardiola was asked about Haaland.

The coach replied (via Manchester Evening News): “Everybody knows the situation, I shouldn’t talk because I don’t like to talk about the future or next season.

Pep Guardiola remains coy on Haaland – for now

“Dortmund and Man City told me I’m not allowed to say anything until it’s completely done. We’ll have time to talk.”

Guardiola was then quizzed on how much input he has for new signings. “I’d love to talk, they tell me don’t say anything until the legal actions [are done],” he replied. “We’ll have time to talk, not because I don’t want [to].”

Haaland looks set to become Sergio Aguero’s true successor in the centre of attack. Gabriel Jesus has done extremely well in recent weeks, but he prefers to operate out wide.

Guardiola was asked how the addition of a true number nine would improve his squad. He went on to make an exciting claim about the City academy, which has produced the likes of Phil Foden and James McAtee recently.

“We have a number nine, we have new players in the squad, some from the academy who [will] come up next season,” Guardiola said. “New players always help me try to be stronger. Not a good defender will solve defensive problems and not a good striker will solve scoring problems.

“Since day one it is like this, apart from one period at the beginning of the season, we score lots and concede few.

“The club always has to have a vision for the future. The decision the club takes I’m always aware [of] and 100 per cent supportive.”

Guardiola then gave an update on the fitness of his squad ahead of the Wolves clash. “Nothing changed after the game against Newcastle,” he revealed.

“We are who we are for the next three games with the players we have. We have problems in one department, the others will solve it.”

Elsewhere, Barcelona boss Xavi has seemingly taken a dig at Haaland for choosing City over the Spanish club.