Pep Guardiola has admitted his admiration of Erling Haaland, but has refused to discuss potential transfer interest in the Borussia Dortmund forward.
Haaland has emerged as the most in-demand star in world football following a stunning rise, scoring 47 goals in 48 appearances in all competitions since signing for Dortmund from Red Bull Salzburg.
The 20-year-old became the fastest player in history to reach 20 goals in the Champions League earlier this season, achieving the feat in just 14 appearances to fire the Bundesliga side into the quarter-finals of club football’s biggest competition.
Manchester City will now face the Norway international after being drawn with Dortmund in the last eight, with the club amongst those reported to be interested in securing his services this summer.
Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea are also understood to hold an interest in bringing the star to the Premier League, whilst Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus have also been mentioned as potential suitors.
Guardiola admits he is well aware of the threat Haaland poses ahead of the Champions League meeting between the two sides, admitting his belief that the forward is already ‘one of the best strikers in the world’.
“The numbers speak for themselves,” he said at a pre-match press conference ahead of Manchester City’s FA Cup quarter-final with Everton.
“He is one of the best strikers in the world. I have seen a few games. Everybody knows the quality of this player, everyone does.”
Guardiola, however, refused to discuss potential transfer interest in the player from the Etihad, respectfully declining to comment on players from rival clubs.
“He is a player for Borussia Dortmund,” he said. “I don’t like it when people speak about my players.”