Pundit doubts ‘Pinocchio’ Pep over Haaland to City claims

Date published: Wednesday 14th April 2021 12:39 - Joe Williams

Erling Haaland Borussia Dortmund Chelsea

Jan Age Fjortoft “thought Walt Disney had risen and revived Pinocchio” after hearing Pep Guardiola’s comments that Manchester City weren’t interested in Erling Haaland.

The Borussia Dortmund striker’s ridiculous goalscoring record of 49 goals in 52 matches since joining the Bundesliga side has seen interest from the top sides in Europe, with the likes of City, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Chelsea and Barcelona linked.

Sergio Aguero recently announced he would be departing City at the end of the campaign, leaving Guardiola with Gabriel Jesus and Ferran Torres as his only striker options.

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When asked about signing Haaland, Guardiola recently responded: “With these prices, we are not going to buy any striker. It is impossible, we cannot afford it.

“All the clubs struggle financially and we are not an exception. We have Gabriel [Jesus], Ferran [Torres], a lot of players in the academy, and we sometimes play with a false nine. There are a lot of big chances that we are not going to sign a new striker for next season.

“We have enough players in the first team right now and interesting players in the Academy. It is a big challenge, for the situation in the world, because of the economic problems in world football, we are not going to sign any striker for next season.”

Former Sheffield United and Barnsley striker Fjortoft was asked by Sport Bild (via Sport Witness), along with ex-Liverpool midfielder Didi Hamann, about City’s interest in Haaland.

“The question is whether Pep even wants Haaland and whether he suits City? Guardiola sent Ibrahimović away in Barcelona and Mandžukić in Munich. And he let Lewandowski play some of the piano,” Hamann said.

“I don’t see a classic Pep striker in Haaland, although with the multitude of chances in every game at City, he would certainly score 40 to 50 goals per season. And financially: if City really wants the player, then they can afford him.”

In response, Fjortoft said: “I agree with you, Didi. But, Pep has changed his style of play in the meantime, and now he does it without some possession of the ball. I could already imagine Haaland in his system.

“When I saw Pep’s press conference, I thought Walt Disney had risen and revived Pinocchio, Guardiola seriously says that the club a) has no real interest in him, b) not enough money and c) they are great players in the academy – help!

“I am shocked that there are people who really believed him. The Pep Guardiola, who has spent more money than any other coach in recent years, under whom so many talents have never left City.”


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