Manchester City have not yet made an approach for Erling Haaland, though Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke knows that any offer the Premier League champions did make would be unmatchable for the Bundesliga club.
Haaland is reportedly City’s priority target ahead of next season, as Pep Guardiola looks to bring in a top-class striker.
The 21-year-old has had a stop-start campaign with Dortmund due to injuries, but has still scored 23 times in as many matches, averaging a goal every 77 minutes across all competitions.
Haaland has been a sensation since signing for Dortmund in the middle of the 2019-20 season, though seems likely to leave the club at the end of the campaign when a €75million buy-out clause in his contract reportedly kicks in.
City, along with Barcelona, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, have been heavily linked. Watzke, however, insisted no official approach has yet been made by any club.
Dortmund’s chief executive is under no illusion, though, that the club would be unable to compete financially should City make an offer. But he is confident that BVB’s model of investing in new talent after losing star players will continue to prove fruitful.
Speaking to Sport Bild, Watzke said: “I’ve given up judging media rumours. Otherwise, my day would have to have 36 hours.
“We don’t currently know anything specific from the player side, nor has anyone approached us. However, we cannot keep up financially if Manchester City comes in [for Haaland].
“We’ve seen it a few times: we lost [Robert] Lewandowski to Bayern in 2014 and [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang to Arsenal in 2018.
“We’ve always created a new star. If Haaland leaves, we will find another new talent and develop it into a star, and that will also do the Bundesliga good.”
Watzke would not comment on any potential targets for Dortmund, though.
Haaland scored twice in Norway’s 9-0 hammering of Armenia on Tuesday, having previously netted for his country in last week’s 2-0 win over Slovakia.
Now, the striker’s immediate focus will be on helping Dortmund push Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga title race, with Marco Rose’s team – who face RB Leipzig in a huge game on Saturday – trailing the league leaders by six points.