Manchester City’s striker, Erling Haaland has admitted that he was left feeling sorry for ex- Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski after the German giants tried to pinch him from Borussia Dortmund earlier this year.
Manchester City eventually won the race for Haaland, who was courted by a whole host of European heavyweights after a remarkable two-and-a-half-year spell at Dortmund. The 22-year-old plundered 86 goals in just 89 games for the Bundesliga outfit – a return that, unsurprisingly, piqued Bayern’s interest.
Haaland’s next move was so hotly anticipated that the Norway superstar was even filmed mulling over his decision. ‘Haaland: The Big Decision’ reveals Bayern’s interest; something the German giants have previously tried to deny.
But now, Haaland’s reaction to the approach has been revealed for the first time – and the striker was less than impressed with Bayern’s plot to replace Lewandowski, who had long been one of the club’s most consistent players.
Speaking in the documentary, Haaland says:
“If I try to imagine how Lewandowski thinks… I don’t know how many goals and titles he has for the club. Then I do actually feel a little sorry for him. At the same time it’s a chance for him to take the next step in his career. It feels disrespectful, but at the same time it is an opportunity for him”
And the striker’s father, former Manchester City midfielder Alf Inge Haaland, also spoke on Bayern’s interest:
“They have shown interest, they have. I understand that they want to protect themselves. If he doesn’t end up there they will say ‘it was never on the agenda, we already have the best striker’.”
Although Bayern denied claims that they tried to hijack Manchester City’s bid for Haaland, the club’s sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has now conceded for the first time that they did try to lure the striker to Munich.
He recently told Sky Sports Germany:
“We were in talks [for Haaland], but it became clear that things might not work out that way for both sides. That’s why he’s at Manchester City now and that’s why we have other players.”
Lewandowski, who boasted an imperious goalscoring record for Bayern, was less than impressed by the club’s attempts to replace him and ended the summer at Barcelona after angling for a dream switch to the Nou Camp.
Haaland, meanwhile, was lured to England by the reigning Premier League champions – and Manchester City are already profiting handsomely from the striker’s decision.
City’s new No.9 has already made an astronomical impact for Pep Guardiola’s side, plundering 10 goals in just six league matches – including back-to-back hat-tricks prior to Saturday’s clash with Aston Villa.
Haaland was on the scoresheet again to reach double figures for the season; although City were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw at Villa Park.