Bundesliga News

Guardiola effectively denies "Operation Haaland", Tuchel declines to answer

By Peter Vice

At a Friday presser, ManCity gaffer Pep Guardiola acknowledged that replacing departing striker Sergio Agüero would prove "almost impossible."

Obviously, City's trainer will have to try anyway. His direct answer to the Erling Haaland rumors seemed to suggest a splurge wasn't in the cards. 

Down in London, Thomas Tuchel had to address a question concerning the Norwegian phenom as well.

Erling Haaland.
Erling Haaland.Photo: Marco Verch, CC BY-SA 2.0

Borussia Dortmund's plan for retaining budding superstar Erling Haaland over the summer reportedly revolves around a €180 million price-tag. This can obviously prove quite the effective tactic, as evidenced by club's retention of Jadon Sancho despite repeated attempts by Manchester United over last summer's window. Early indications suggest it might work this time too.

"At the current prices, we will not buy a striker," Mancity head-coach Pep Guardiola told reporters on Friday, "It's impossible. We can't afford it. At this stage, there's a good chance we won't buy a striker for next season."

While the massive amounts of cash being pumped into City Football Group by Abu Dhabi mean that Guardiola's statement remains very much subject to change, Guardiola's words at the very least seemed to imply that no supposed "Operation Haaland" is actively taking place at the club.

Chelsea FC trainer Thomas Tuchel was also asked about Haaland at his most recent presser. The former Dortmund and FSV Mainz gaffer's answer was a little more non-comital, but still firm.

"I will not answer that question out of respect for Borussia Dortmund," Tuchel frankly told a reporter, "Apart from that, it looks as if the race for this player is being concocted from the outside."

Despite the two soft statements from the EPL coaches, multiple German media sources report that Haaland's talent representatives have been spotted in Spain recently. La Liga sides Barça and Real Madrid are thought to be genuine candidates in the impending race for football's most talented young striker.

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