Erling Haaland’s departure will not mean Borussia Dortmund “stop playing football”, head coach Marco Rose declared while wishing the soon-to-be Manchester City forward well for the future.
City have agreed a deal to sign Haaland, who had been one of the most sought-after players in the world.
The 21-year-old will now follow in the footsteps of his father Alf-Inge Haaland, who played for City between 2000 and 2003.
Haaland has netted 85 goals since making his Dortmund debut in January 2020, with 28 of those coming from 29 games in all competitions this season.
Across the top five European leagues, only Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski has a better ratio (1.13) of goals per 90 minutes in all competitions than Haaland’s 1.1.
The move to City is subject to personal terms, though that is unlikely to present an issue, with Pep Guardiola’s side all set to add a world-class striker to their star-studded squad.
Dortmund signed Salzburg youngster Karim Adeyemi – a former team-mate of Haaland’s – as the Norwegian’s replacement, and while Rose wishes the latter well in Manchester, he knows BVB will move on.
“Borussia Dortmund will not stop playing football after Erling leaves us. He decided to do his next step with City, we wish him all the best for that,” Rose told a news conference ahead of Saturday’s final game of the season, at home to relegation-threatened Hertha Berlin.
“I think he gave us a lot, gave us goals, gave us energy, he’s a player who always wants to win.
“I think he still can improve, he is still young but we wish him all the best on his way. I’ve known him a little bit longer, I had him at Salzburg too, so we will follow him, I think we will meet again, I hope we will meet again. All the best to Erling Haaland.”
On signing Adeyemi, Rose said: “He’s brutally fast and has a good finish, giving us a lot of flexibility on the offensive.
“Of course, he’s still young, so we shouldn’t overload him. We’ll help him get used to BVB quickly.”
Dortmund, who are assured of second place, have lost two of their last three Bundesliga home matches (W1), as many as in their previous 17 league outings at Signal Iduna Park combined.
The last time BVB suffered consecutive home defeats in the league was in 2020 (three in a row).