Guardiola wants Haaland to improve his all-round game by watching Kane

Erling Haaland can improve as a striker by watching and learning from his Tottenham rival Harry Kane, believes Pep Guardiola.

The two No 9s will come face to face on Sunday when Manchester City travel to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with Haaland topping the Premier League goalscoring charts, one place and nine goals better off than his Spurs counterpart.

The Norway striker has been prolific since his summer move from Borussia Dortmund, with 25 league goals, but he is not one to rest on his laurels. Haaland will almost certainly win the golden boot, an award Kane has collected three times, but Guardiola has called for the striker to get more involved in the team’s general play.

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“With Erling, one of the attributes I am surprised by the most is the feeling,” City’s manager said. “How he is aware that he can improve in many departments. I am pretty sure maybe watching Harry Kane, but not necessarily watching [only] Harry, other players. He has the will: ‘I can do better.’ With his age, it is the best thing he can believe. Otherwise it will be boring.”

If circumstances had turned out differently, City might have signed Kane in 2021 but their bid of more than £100m was rejected. City will not pay above what they think a player is worth. While Chelsea spent almost £300m in January, City made no signings despite the departure of João Cancelo.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen with transfer fees, although I can imagine, but it is always important to make a good decision on the right players when you want to buy – ones who can be involved in the whole group, in terms of the dynamic that we have built over the years,” Guardiola said. “That’s the intention we always have, but I don’t know what’s going to happen with the prices. I think they will be more expensive than usual but I don’t know.

“We have done that recently over the years many times, when the club decides it’s too much we don’t take them. I could explain three or four or five cases, but wouldn’t talk about the players involved because they went to other clubs. But I have in my memory a few players where we were negotiating, so fair enough, I’m not saying the opposite, but then we have decided ‘no, it’s too much’, and we didn’t do it.”