Manchester United may have the advantage over Manchester City when it comes to signing Erling Haaland this summer after Pep Guardiola kicked off a war of words with Borussia Dortmund. The City boss claimed that the Bundesliga club shelled out a lot of money on agents to bring in the world’s best upcoming talent.
“If any one person in the city of Manchester knows Borussia Dortmund, it’s me,” Guardiola said.
“About the culture of that club, the way they play. I will not find one single player at Dortmund without quality.
“They spend a lot of money on young players, and pay a lot of money to the agents to bring these players there.”
City are hoping to do business with Dortmund this summer as they need a replacement for Sergio Aguero, who will leave after a decade at the Etihad Stadium.
However, Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke took offence at Guardiola’s comments and fired back at the City boss.
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“In the last five years they have spent nearly 1bn euros on new players,” he told the BBC. “In five years. Who has the possibility to make this? He has not to criticise other clubs.”
The Blues have spent around £770m since Guardiola replaced Manuel Pellegrini in 2016.
Meanwhile, Watzke continued to defence the way his club works.
He added: “It is working fantastic but it is difficult to develop a team with it because after two or three years, these young players, if they perform very, very well, like Erling Haaland or Jadon Sancho, then the biggest clubs in Europe want to buy them. But this is the only way for Borussia Dortmund.
“Dortmund is not a club where you must have big visions because you don’t have big money.
“If I had money like other clubs, who can spend 1bn euros in five or 10 years on the team, then you can have visions.
“What I want to have for the next years is that we get the status to be one of the best 10 or 12 clubs in Europe and normally to win some titles in Germany.”
If Watzke remains sour with Guardiola then he may favour doing business with United, who are keen on Haaland.
Edinson Cavani looks set to leave Old Trafford after turning down a contract extension and Haaland is seen as the ideal replacement.
United tried to sign the 22-year-old when he left Red Bull Salzburg last January, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer jetting out to meet his former Molde star.
Haaland opted for a move to the Westfalenstadion where he has continued his goalscoring exploits.
And now United are set to launch another attempt to capture the Norway international.