Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has insisted that his club cannot afford to buy Erling Haaland to replace Sergio Aguero this summer.
City head into the upcoming transfer window ready to lose their record goalscorer to free agency. The club announced Aguero’s impending departure from an illustrious 10-year Etihad spell on Monday. As such, tributes have come in throughout the week for one of the Premier League’s greatest ever strikers.
However, the focus has quickly turned to who City will sign in the summer.
Borussia Dortmund striker Haaland is supposedly a key target. Indeed, his agent and father reportedly travelled to England on Friday for talks with four Premier League clubs, City among them.
The 20-year-old, seen as a future Ballon d’Or winner, will reportedly come with a £154million fee.
City have been made one of the favourites to land the generational talent, but Guardiola has claimed that his club cannot afford the deal.
What’s more, a raid for Tottenham’s Harry Kane is out of the question.
“With the prices we are not going to buy any strikers, it is impossible, we can not afford it,” the manager told reporters.
“I want to be clear, maybe we can find a player to replace Sergio. In terms of numbers he might be replaced but what he means to this club it’s impossible.
“We have enough players in the first team now and interesting players in the academy, and with the economy in world football now we’re not going to sign a striker this season.
“All the clubs are struggling financially, us as well. We have Gabriel [Jesus], Ferran [Torres] who has been incredible, Raheem [Sterling] as a false nine. Today there is more chance we don’t sign a striker.”
Guardiola has also used Phil Foden as a false nine to good effect. Indeed, the England international shone in that role in the 3-1 win over Chelsea in January.
Guardiola heaps praise on Iheanacho
One in-form striker Premier League leaders City are set to come up against as they travel to Leicester on Saturday is their former player Kelechi Iheanacho.
The Nigerian, who left City in 2017, has scored seven goals in his last four games for Brendan Rodgers’ Foxes.
Guardiola said: “Incredible. The quality was there. He was a young player here and I think with Gabriel we didn’t have enough space.
“He is a fantastic person, we had a good relationship, and I’m glad to see him playing well.”