Manchester City are ready to crank up the pressure on Tottenham to sell Harry Kane after Pep Guardiola admitted he would love a prolific striker to lead his attack.
The Premier League champions have made landing a prolific goalscorer their No 1 priority as club-record marksman Sergio Aguero prepares to depart the Etihad.
Kane and Borussia Dortmund hit-man Erling Haaland are at the top of Guardiola’s wish-list – but either would cost well in excess of £100million.
Guardiola admitted: “I’d love to have a striker who got 50 goals a season, honestly.
“At the same time, I don’t like to put all the pressure on one player.
“In Barcelona, Lionel Messi, every season since he was born, scored 50 a season.
“Thierry Henry scored a lot in the first season and Samuel Eto’o scored a lot – what a striker.”
With Aguero spending most of his final season with City on the treatment table or substitutes’ bench, the Blues have played most of the season without a recognised striker.
Midfielder Ilkay Gundogan is top scorer with 17, while Phil Foden has 15 and Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez 14 apiece.
City have still romped to their third title in four seasons and will face Chelsea in the Champions League Final.
Guardiola said: “When you are to win titles, especially the Premier League, with just one guy you won’t win it.
“You need more – and the statistics speak for themselves.
“You need three guys with more than 10, scoring 12 or 15, to be competitive.
“But when you have a guy who can get 25 to 30 it helps a lot, honestly.
“We will try for the way we play for everyone to be involved.
“Raheem, Riyad and especially Gundogan this season. Phil Foden with his qualities, Sergio and Gabriel Jesus.
“As many players with this quality the better it will be.”
City insist they will not be held to ransom by either Spurs or Dortmund – and both clubs have proved in the past that they drive a hard bargain.
Haaland is represented by Mino Raiola, the super-agent who has a difficult relationship with Guardiola.
And although City insist that would not be a stumbling block, the £140million valuation that Dortmund have slapped on the Norwegian will not be met.
The German club have also eased their financial worries by qualifying for the Champions League.
City have been encouraged by Kane’s attempts this week to force his departure from White Hart Lane.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has insisted the England captain is not for sale and Kane has another three years left on his contract.
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