Lionel Messi: New Barcelona president vows to keep star
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Barcelona’s new president Joan Laporta is eager to make a splash in this summer’s transfer window. As well as keeping hold of Lionel Messi, he’s also intending to sign Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund. And, if that deal happens, he’ll have finally signed the perfect replacement for Luis Suarez.
Barcelona looked a team down and out after being blitzed 4-1 by Paris Saint-Germain in their Champions League clash in February.
But Ronald Koeman has masterminded a remarkable turnaround, with the Catalan giants now very much a side on the up.
Barcelona have been transformed since that defeat at the Nou Camp, stringing together a run of six victories from their last eight games.
And with Laporta back at the helm, they’re daring to dream big again.
Barcelona’s transfer business in the summer was peculiar. The exit of Suarez, who joined Atletico Madrid, particularly so.
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The Uruguay international was a substantial hit during his time at the Nou Camp. There were certainly players who should have been shown the door instead.
Philippe Coutinho and Antoine Griezmann, especially, were lucky to remain at the club. Neither has ever lived up to their vast price tags and both fall into the ‘flop’ category.
Suarez did regress last term. His tally of 21 goals was four fewer than the 25 he managed in the 2018/2019 season.
But he managed those goals from 13 less appearances. Barcelona were wrong to let him go – and they’ve paid the price in the short time since.
Suarez has scored 19 goals for La Liga this term and is on the verge of propelling Atletico Madrid to a first league title since 2014.
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And Barcelona, for all their improvement, are still in dire need of a world-class No 9. Ahead of the summer transfer window, that’s their top priority.
Laporta is back with a bang. And he’s determined to bring the good times back to Catalonia.
In order to do that, the Barcelona supremo believes Haaland would be the perfect signing. The Norwegian has been sublime for Borussia Dortmund this term, scoring 31 goals in the Bundesliga and Champions League combined.
The queue to secure his signing is certainly lengthy.
Manchester United are big admirers of Haaland, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, John Murtough and Darren Fletcher all in agreement regarding his potential arrival.
Manchester City are also interested, with Pep Guardiola on the lookout for a long-term Sergio Aguero replacement.
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has asked Roman Abramovich to land the Dortmund star – and is even willing to part ways with Timo Werner for a deal to happen.
And Real Madrid are in the mix, too, even if their priority at the current moment in time is Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe.
But Barcelona’s need, out of all clubs, is greatest.
And Haaland could be the perfect player to convince Messi, who continues to be linked with City and PSG, should stay in Catalonia for the rest of his career.
The Barcelona star enjoyed a good relationship with Suarez during their time at the club together, propelling the club to silverware aplenty.
And the same could be done with Haaland, who is already operating at a scarily high level.
Barcelona will face strong competition to secure his signing but the chance to play alongside Messi, as he enters the twilight years of his career, could be too good to turn down.
When it comes to replacing Suarez, Haaland would be worth the investment.
And his arrival may show Messi that Barcelona, after a first years of stagnating, are ready to climb up the European ladder again.
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