Pep Guardiola proclaimed Erling Haaland to be one of the best strikers in the world, though he refused to be drawn on transfer speculation linking Manchester City to the Borussia Dortmund star after the two teams were drawn together in the Champions League.
Haaland appears to be the main threat as Guardiola seeks to avoid a fourth consecutive quarter-final exit in Europe’s top competition, while there will also be a reunion with ex-City youngster and England winger Jadon Sancho.
As Sergio Aguero’s contract runs down and City’s all-time leading goalscorer struggles for minutes, rumours linking the Premier League leaders and Haaland – whose father Alf-Inge captained City at the start of the century – have mounted.
Speaking after Friday’s Champions League draw, which also mapped out a route to the final that will see the winner of City v Dortmund face either holders Bayern Munich or Paris Saint-Germain in the semis, Guardiola conceded this season’s hectic schedule had not granted him too much time to watch BVB.
However, he is well aware of their main man.
“The numbers speak for themselves, of course he is one of the best strikers in the world right now at his age,” he said at a news conference to preview Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final trip to Everton.
“I saw few games, honestly, I didn’t have much time. But I saw the highlights and the numbers in the Champions League and the Bundesliga are impressive.
Read Also: Haaland sets Champions League records
“Dortmund, I know [Mats] Hummels, [Raphael] Guerreiro, Emre Can with good experience, [Axel] Witsel, the quality of their players, Jadon Sancho and [Giovanni] Reyna. There are many, many young players with quality. In the last years they to invested in young players, paying good wages and good salaries for the agents and they have a lot of quality there.
“They were able to go through against Sevilla. Sevilla, in knockout competitions, is one of the strongest teams ever. They won three Europa Leagues in a row and last season won it again.”