Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke accepts any offer Manchester City submit for Erling Haaland would be unmatchable, but has also vowed the club will find a "new talent" if he leaves.
City are thought to be leading the race to sign Haaland ahead of the summer transfer window, with it reported the 21-year-old has been offered a contract at Etihad Stadium that would make him the highest-paid player in the Premier League.
Watzke has denied those "rumours" but also admits Dortmund would be unable to "keep up financially" if Man City were to launch a formal bid for the Norwegian striker.
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What has been said?
City are reportedly willing to invest €355 million (£301m/$396m) in Haaland, including a final transfer fee and salary costs, but the Dortmund chief is paying little attention to ongoing speculation.
"I've given up judging media rumours. Otherwise, my day would have to have 36 hours," Watzke told Sport Bild.
"We don't currently know anything specific from the player side, nor has anyone approached us. However, we cannot keep up financially if Manchester City comes in [for Haaland]."
Watzke insists Dortmund will create a 'new star'
Haaland is under contract at Dortmund until 2024, but Watzke acknowledges he could move on to pastures new this summer.
Barcelona, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United have also been linked with the forward, who reportedly has a €75m (£64m/$84m) release clause.
Watzke is confident BVB would be able to replace Haaland, though, and said: "We've seen it a few times: we lost [Robert] Lewandowski to Bayern in 2014 and [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang to Arsenal in 2018.
"We've always created a new star. If Haaland leaves, we will find another new talent and develop it into a star, and that will also do the Bundesliga good."
RB Leipzig's Karim Adeyemi has been mooted as the man most likely to fill Haaland's boots at Westfalenstadion, but Watzke has said of a potential move: "The same applies here: I will not confirm any transfer rumours."