Erling Haaland: Pep Guardiola hails Dortmund striker ‘one of the best’ amid Manchester City transfer links

Erling Haaland is a “one of the best strikers in the world”, according to Pep Guardiola, though the Manchester City manager refused to discuss potential transfer interest in the Borussia Dortmund striker.

City were pitted against Dortmund in the Champions League quarter-finals during Friday’s draw in Nyon, with Haaland and former City academy prospect Jadon Sancho set to visit the Etihad.

Haaland has been widely linked with City, who have prioritised a striker as one of their targets in this summer’s transfer window.

Haaland’s father, Alf-Inge, is a former City midfielder and the 20-year-old was pictured wearing City shirts while following his dad’s career as a child.

Guardiola said that Haaland’s goal-scoring feats since breaking onto the scene last season speak for themselves, but would not be drawn on whether he would like the Norwegian to be part of his squad.

“The numbers speak for themselves, of course he is one of the best strikers in the world right now at his age,” Guardiola said.

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“I saw few games, honestly, I didn’t have much time. But I saw the highlights and the numbers in the Champions League and the league are impressive.

“I know the quality of this players and I think everyone knows. But in two weeks I could answer better because I didn’t see much.”

On City’s interest in Haaland, he added: “He’s a player from Borussia Dortmund. I don’t like it when people talk about our players. He’s a player for Borussia Dortmund. You understand I cannot answer this question.”

Guardiola believes that City have been handed a testing draw in Dortmund, who beat Sevilla 5-4 on aggregate to progress through the round of 16.

“Dortmund, I know [Mats] Hummels, [Raphael] Guerreiro, Emre Can with good experience experience, [Axel] Witsel, the quality of their players, Jadon Sancho and [Giovani] Reyna.

“There are many, many young players with quality. In the last years they to invested in young players, paying good wages and good salaries for the agents and they have a lot of quality there.

“They were able to go through against Sevilla. Sevilla, in knockout competitions, is one of strongest teams ever. They won three Europa Leagues in a row and last season won it again. Always they are so strong and Dortmund were able to beat them.

“Dortmund are tough but all of them would have been at this stage. We have to discover how they are as a team, and especially try to do a good first game and after a good second one.

“If we are able to do good games we will deserve to go through. If Dortmund are able to do two good games they will go through. There are no more secrets than that/

“Leeds is not the best team to face between two legs. After, play the second one and try to go through. No more than that.

“Now we have two weeks to analyse and see a little bit some games of them. What they do and how they are with their manager. And that’s all.”

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