Man City: Guardiola coy on Erling Haaland transfer talk
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Mino Raiola has sent a scathing assessment of Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, claiming he has ‘closed the book’ on their relationship. The super-agent has had several run-ins with Guardiola in the past, stretching back to Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s time at Barcelona.
Raiola is set to be in the middle of this summer’s biggest transfer tussle as Erling Haaland decides the next step in his career.
After brokering a deal that saw him join Borussia Dortmund last January, Raiola has admitted his client could join any club in the world.
City are likely to be one of those firmy in the mix, especially after Segio Aguero’s imminent exit was confirmed.
It was confirmed on Monday that the Argentinian will leave the Etihad Stadium at the end of the season, marking the end of a stunning decade spell at the club.
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It has already been announced that a statue has been sanctioned to honour his contribution to the club, a contribution that will be difficult to replace.
Haaland is one of the few forwards that could fill the Aguero-shaped hole in the City squad, but Raiola has poured cold water on their chances with a withering verdict on Guardiola.
“As for Mr Guardiola, I’ve closed the book already a long time ago,” he told the Athletic. “Everybody knows what I think of him personally and he can say what he thinks for me personally.
“For the rest, I think he’s a great trainer. And that’s how it is. I will not shut up for anybody. I’ll give my opinion, I think that it is my right.
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“With Mr Ferguson or Guardiola, I have this problem — and I think that it is changing now — that (they believe) we should submit to them because ‘otherwise, tomorrow, you don’t do a player with Manchester United’.
“I don’t give a f*** if I never do another player with Manchester United. I’m not in their hands. I’m independent.
“We have only one party that we take care of: our players. And as long as our players like us, you do what you have to do.”
Haaland’s agent also suggested that many teams underestimated his potential, after enjoying a blistering start to life in Germany.
Raiola added: “With Haaland, everybody was wrong. He did things much quicker than everybody imagined.
“Haaland is in front of his own development. He is ahead of his own schedule. Maybe I was too careful when I said, ‘Oh no, let’s move to Dortmund instead of I-don’t-know-where’.
“This boy — I’m 100 per cent convinced and everybody’s convinced — can move to any club, wherever he wants, already on this level.
“ And he could have done that last year. But maybe last year there were still teams (saying), ‘Oh, he was in Red Bull, can he do it in another club?’. He is quicker than his own prediction. So yeah, Haaland is the talk of the town.”
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