BERLIN (Reuters) – Erling Haaland’s departure to Manchester City at the end of the season does not mean Borussia Dortmund will stop being competitive, coach Marco Rose said on Thursday.
The Norwegian striker agreed this week to join City, making Saturday’s Bundesliga finale at home against relegation-threatened Hertha Berlin his last game for the Ruhr valley club.
In a transfer that will deprive the Bundesliga of one of its most exciting players, Haaland, who has netted 85 times in 88 matches in all competitions for the Ruhr valley club since 2020, agreed to join City on a multi-year deal.
The 21-year-old was last season’s top scorer in the Champions League as well as the UEFA Nations League.
“We won’t stop playing football after Erling leaves us,” coach Marco Rose told a news conference. “He decided to take his next step with City and we wish him all the best.
“He gave us goals, energy, he is a player who always wants to win. I think he still can improve. He is still young.”
The English club did not provide financial details but German media have reported the total cost of buying Haaland in a multi-year deal could exceed 300 million euros.
Dortmund will finish runners-up to champions Bayern Munich on Saturday and will be competing in the Champions League, just like Haaland’s City.
“We will meet again. I hope we will meet again,” Rose said.
Dortmund have signed 20-year-old forward Karim Adeyemi for next season, along with defender Niklas Suele and Germany international Nico Schlotterbeck.
But Rose said Saturday’s season finale was not just about Haaland’s farewell along with that of longtime sports director Michael Zorc and players Marcel Schmelzer and Axel Witsel.
“There are still things at stake in the league. It’s still about positions,” he said. Hertha are not yet safe in 15th place and need at least a point to make sure they won’t slip onto the relegation playoff spot.
“It is our last game of the season and it is at home and we want to win it. Players and officials will bid farewell but I expect from everyone a good and focused performance,” he said.
“We want to give it all, get the three points and play a good game.”
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Ed Osmond)