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I can’t talk until Erling Haaland deal is ‘completely done’, says Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola (left) has hinted that Erling Haaland (right) could be on his way to Manchester City
Pep Guardiola (left) has hinted that Erling Haaland (right) could be on his way to Manchester City

Pep Guardiola has appeared to confirm Manchester City are closing in on a deal for Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland.

Reports on Monday claimed the Norway international had already undergone a medical after agreeing personal terms with the Premier League champions.

It is now anticipated the 21-year-old will sign a five-year contract to move to the Etihad Stadium for the start of next season once City formally trigger his £63million release clause.

City have not officially commented on the reports, but manager Guardiola did not deny the transfer was imminent when he held a press conference on Tuesday.

Guardiola said: “Everybody knows the situation, but I should not talk because I do not like to talk about the future, next season.

“At the same time I should say something, but Borussia Dortmund and Man City told me I’m not allowed to say anything until the deal is completely done, so I cannot talk. I’m sorry. We’ll have time to talk.”

Haaland boasts a prolific goalscoring record for Dortmund
Haaland boasts a prolific goal-scoring record for Dortmund (Nick Potts/PA)

Asked further about the matter, the Spaniard said: “I would love to talk, honestly, but I can’t. They tell me don’t say anything (because of) the legal actions or the legal situation.

“We’ll have time to talk about that. (It’s) not because I don’t want but because I can’t.”

Haaland, whose father Alf-Inge played for City from 2000-03, is one of the most coveted players in the game, having scored 85 goals in 88 appearances for Dortmund since moving from RB Salzburg in January 2020.

His signing would end City’s long search for a specialist centre forward, having failed in a high-profile attempt to prise Harry Kane away from Tottenham after Sergio Aguero left the club last summer.

Guardiola had hoped to add Tottenham's Harry Kane to his squad last summer
Guardiola had hoped to add Tottenham’s Harry Kane to his squad last summer (Adam Davy/PA)

Yet City have fared well without an out-and-out striker this term, with various players being deployed in the ‘false nine’ role, and Guardiola was keen to play down the significance of any one new signing.

He said: “We have a number nine right now. New players always help us try to be a stronger team, but a good defender will not solve our defensive problems and one striker will not resolve the scoring problems that maybe we have.

“We have always been consistent, scoring a lot of goals and conceding few. The stats are there, we are stable in those terms, but the club always has to have a vision for the future.

“That’s why with the decisions the club takes, I’m always completely aware and supportive 100 per cent.”

The Haaland developments come as City look to close out their fifth Premier League title in four seasons.

Guardiola is hoping to secure his fourth title in five seasons
Guardiola is hoping to secure his fourth title in five seasons (Nick Potts/PA)

City have three games remaining, starting with Wednesday’s rearranged trip to Wolves, and victories in all of them will ensure the crown is retained.

The task is not entirely plan sailing, however, with City having to deal with a number of injury problems in defence.

John Stones, Kyle Walker and Ruben Dias will all miss the remainder of the campaign, while Nathan Ake is a doubt with an ankle problem.

Guardiola said: “Nothing has changed since the game against Newcastle. We are who we are and we are going into the last three games with the players that we have and we go for it.

“We have problems in one department but the others are going to solve it. Go for it.”