Manchester United are believed to have already made Erling Haaland their ‘top transfer target’ this summer – but a bidding war is brewing among six elite European clubs.
After establishing himself as one of the hottest properties in world football – by scoring an incredible 49 goals in 50 games for Borussia Dortmund – speculation over his future spiralled this Easter weekend on the back of reports that transfer talks have been held.
Subsequently, around 24 hours later, the pair are said to have jetted into the UK for similar discussions with Premier League clubs Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City – as well as United.
Haaland is very much in high-demand ahead of the summer transfer window – but what are United’s main rivals for his sought-after signature saying about their own chances of signing the Norway sensation?
Pep Guardiola (Manchester City)
“With the prices, we are not going to buy any strikers, it is impossible, we can not afford it. I want to be clear here, maybe we can find a player to replace Sergio (Aguero).
“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 and interesting players in the academy – but with the economy in world football right 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. There is more chance we don’t sign a striker.”
Thomas Tuchel (Chelsea)
“I will not answer out of respect for the player and for Borussia Dortmund.
“He’s a Borussia Dortmund player – and of course there’s big news around him and his agent. It seems like they are creating a race for the player. But still everybody needs to accept, and I will fully accept, he is a Borussia Dortmund player.
“Haaland is a very promising player of course, but with respect to the situation he’s not in our squad, he’s not in our club, so there’s no comment on anything else regarding him.”
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Ronald Koeman (Barcelona)
“I don’t think it is the time to talk about a player that isn’t ours, out of respect to his club and for others.
“Above all in these times, either today or a while ago, with a new president there is always talk with about what is to come next season and future signings – and I don’t like it.
“I think I need my concentration on the game (Real Valladolid) and the players that we have. What is to come is for next year. We can talk in the next few months about where we can be better.
“But I will not answer questions about individual players that aren’t ours.”
Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid)
“I get tired of saying the same thing, but everything that happens outside (is not for me to say). What’s more, he isn’t my player. I won’t say if it’s good or bad, I won’t get into it.
“What interests me is thinking about the game (Eibar). I get tired of saying it, but if you or your colleagues ask me about other players, I’ll say the same thing, so maybe save the question and ask a good football question.
“The rest, what will happen next year, I don’t know. Everyone does what he wants. I don’t get involved – my job is about preparing my players well for the games.”