Erling Haaland and Lionel Messi transfer decision is blow to Man Utd and Chelsea

Man City: Guardiola says 'blind guy' knows Haaland talent

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Manchester City have shelved plans to sign Lionel Messi, with Erling Haaland now their No.1 target. The Borussia Dortmund is arguably the most sought after player on the planet, after another prolific season in the Bundesliga.

Agent Mino Raiola and father Alf-Inge have been making visists with clubs across Europe, in order to find the 20-year-old his next club.

From the Premier League, Manchester United, Chelsea and City are all believed to be in the mix.

City have the financial muscle to easily afford the striker, despite Dortmund believing to value him at around £150m.

And according to Mirror Sport, Pep Guardiola’s side will prioritise a move for Haaland, after their pursuit of Lionel Messi went cold.

The report adds that City are “not actively pursuing Messi” thus is their determination to seal a deal for Haaland.

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The Etihad club are likely to be in the market for a striker after Segio Aguero announced he will leave at the end of the season.

However, Guardiola poured some cold water on that assumption, claiming they could not afford a replacement this summer.

“With the prices, we are not going to buy any strikers, it is impossible, we can not afford it. It’s impossible. No, no,” Guardiola said.

“All the clubs struggling financially, we are not an exception. We have Gabriel [Jesus], Ferran [Torres] who has been incredible in this position, we have young players in the academy, we play many times with a false-9.

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“I don’t know what is going to happen. Maybe we’re going to buy but maybe, maybe we’re not going to buy any striker for the next season. Today there is more chance we aren’t going to buy any striker for the next season.”

Guardiola is believed to have told City bosses to not reach Dortmund’s lofty valuation, but is willing to sanction a mega money move, particularly after hinting at a change of transfer stance.

“Competitions are not won by one player, it is every player. So far the club has decided not to spend close to £100million for a player.

“Maybe in the future, it will happen when the club decides it is necessary to improve the team for the next five to ten years but so far the organisation decides not to do it and that’s why we didn’t do it but maybe in the future.”

Meanwhile, Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has insisted the German club are planning to still have the Norwegian next season, claiming ‘there is no alternative plan in place.

“We do not have a parallel plan. We will discuss this with Erling, his father and his agent Mino Raiola,” Watzke told DAZN.

“We also want him to be happy to stay with us, to score goals for BVB next year with conviction.

“There is no alternative plan.”

He added: “Nonetheless, I am very sure that the transfer market will only run to a very limited extent this summer.

“Especially at the really big clubs you can see what kind of wounds coronavirus has inflicted, and they are not small ones that heal within two weeks.”

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