Erling Haaland: Pep Guardiola could hardly contain his excitement before Man City transfer agreement confirmed

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Pep Guardiola strongly hinted that Manchester City’s acquisition of Erling Haaland was nearing completion before confirmation of the deal to sign the striker.

The Premier League leaders have been strongly linked with the Borussia Dortmund striker but Guardiola refused to discuss the move on Tuesday, citing legal advice that prevents him from doing so.

“I would love to talk honestly but I can’t,” he told reporters.

“They told me not to say anything for the legal situation that is far away from my perspective. So we will have time to talk about that, not because I don’t want [to], because I can’t.”

Shortly after the press conference, City announced the deal with Dortmund to sign Haaland - subject to personal terms.

It has long been discussed that a natural striker to replace Sergio Aguero, who fell out of favour with Guardiola almost two years ago, is the missing piece of the puzzle for City but the manager insisted one signing will not be a gamebreaker for his side.

“We have a No9 right now [Gabriel Jesus],” he added. “I guess [we’ll have] new players in the squad, some players will definitely come up from the academy for next season.

“The new players always help make a stronger team but a good defender is not going to solve our defensive problems and one striker is not going to solve our scoring problems, that maybe we have.”

Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke had earlier confirmed that the decision over Haaland’s future is with the player - with the Bundesliga club confident they will find an adequate replacement if he does go.

“It's a decision for Erling,” Watzke told CNN. “Erling has an exit clause and he must decide if we wants to take this exit clause or not and he has time to give us his decision. When the time is ready, he will do it.

“But we have played football for 113 years, and for 111 years, we played without Erling Haaland.”

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