Erling Haaland remains content amid swirling transfer rumours ahead of Borussia Dortmund’s Champions League showdown with Manchester City.
Premier League leaders City are one of a host of clubs to have been linked with the 20-year-old Norway striker.
Speculation over a blockbuster close-season transfer mounted during the international break when Haaland’s agent, Mino Raiola, accompanied his father – and former City player – Alf-Inge on trips to Madrid and Barcelona.
Speaking on the eve of Tuesday’s quarter-final clash at the Etihad Stadium, Dortmund interim boss Edin Terzic insisted such matters could not be ones to cause him too much concern.
“It has no impact on me because I can’t stop Mino Raiola and Alfie Haaland from travelling. It’s up to them, they’re grown-ups and they can choose whatever they want to do,” he said.
“I just can have an impact on Erling and we are happy to have him in our team.
“He’s been back with us since last Thursday, when he came back from the Norway national team
“The feeling we had from the start was that he was very happy to see us and we’re very happy to have him around.
“He’s a lovely guy, his qualities are well known all over the world and we are proud and happy he’s part of our team.”
Training is underway pic.twitter.com/pD8Quv5tsQ
— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) April 5, 2021
Haaland has scored 33 goals in 32 club appearances across all competitions this season, although he will not have Jadon Sancho to provide service in the first leg.
Former City youngster Sancho has remained in Germany for treatment on a thigh problem and Terzic conceded next week’s second leg could also come too soon for the England winger – another presumed transfer target for some of Europe’s big hitters.
“He started with a bit of running for the last couple of days and we hope that it won’t take a long time to get back to team training, but he won’t be ready for the next week, let’s say,” Terzic said.
“For the future it’s hard to tell. First of all, we still have seven games left in the Bundesliga to qualify for the Champions League.
“Of course it’s a bit difficult now at the minute, but it’s still possible. We’re going to try our best to make it possible and then at the end of the season we’ll see what’s going to happen next.”
Dortmund’s dwindling domestic form – a 2-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt last time out left them seven points behind their weekend opponents in the Bundesliga’s final Champions League qualification spot – has left them with nowhere to hide from criticism and Terzic was in no mood to unduly protect his players.
“We are disappointed with the performance and Saturday’s result. The criticism has been justified,” he added.
“We’ve shown before we can do better and the task now is to face that criticism, to accept it and show a reaction on the pitch.
“We have to prove we don’t give up and show our quality and potential again. We are responsible for showing that.
“We haven’t been able to over the last weeks and that’s why the criticism is justified.”