Lionel Messi: New Barcelona president vows to keep star
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Barcelona are debating whether to wait a year before trying to sign Erling Haaland, according to reports. The Catalan giants are hopeful of snapping up the Borussia Dortmund star. But any transfer deal this summer looks problematic to strike.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta is eager to sign a new striker this summer.
And Haaland is the club’s top transfer target, with the Borussia Dortmund star lighting up the Bundesliga with some fine displays this season.
Barcelona have held talks with the striker’s agent, Mino Raiola, about a possible move to the Nou Camp at the end of the season.
Yet Sport say the La Liga titans may wait a year before signing Haaland, with that their ‘secondary’ plan at the current moment in time.
In an ideal world, Barcelona would spend big on signing Haaland now.
But with the 20-year-old also wanted by Real Madrid, Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea, they know any deal won’t come cheap.
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Furthermore, Barcelona have been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis – just like many top clubs around the world.
And they’ve already been given encouragement over a deal for Haaland in 2022, with Raiola even suggesting that during the first round of negotiations.
However, it would obviously be a risk.
If Barcelona don’t act now then Haaland could feasibly move elsewhere, with many clubs around the globe all eager to secure his signature.
Yet while that’s possible, Laporta and the rest of the Barcelona board are relaxed over the situation.
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They feel Haaland wants to play in Spain, rather than in England, something that would certainly work in their favour when it comes to a potential battle.
And they also think the Norway international isn’t a priority for Real Madrid, with Kylian Mbappe instead Los Blancos’ preferred target for the summer window.
Barcelona do have several alternatives under consideration should they miss out on Haaland, with Romelu Lukaku one of the names being eyed.
The Inter Milan star has been in majestic form this season and previously worked under Ronald Koeman at Everton.
Lautaro Martinez is another in Barcelona’s sights, with interest in the young forward dating back to Ernesto Valverde’s time in charge.
And Andre Silva has been linked, too, with the striker currently shining for Eintracht Frankfurt after leaving AC Milan on loan back in the summer transfer window.
Koeman was coy when recently quizzed on Haaland, saying: “Haaland? This is not a time to talk about a player who is not ours out of respect for his club.
“There is talk of signings but I don’t like it and I need to focus on tomorrow’s game and the players we have.
“We’ll talk in the next few weeks on where we can improve but I will not respond to players who are not ours.”
Former Dortmund star Matthias Sammer has urged Haaland against leaving Dortmund too early, citing Ousmane Dembele’s move to Barcelona back in the summer transfer window of 2017.
The France international moved to Catalonia as a replacement for Neymar four years ago and has never lived up to expectations at the club.
And Sammer said: “I would recommend for Erling to also see the value of Borussia Dortmund.
“The club has given him a lot. From here, he can only go to a handful of clubs. When Erling makes the next step, he must be the finished product, perfect. He is very, very good.
“He must improve some details. Robert [Lewandowski] was complete when he left for Bayern [Munich on a free transfer in 2014]. It was clear: He went straight into the starting line-up.
“But as a counter-example, Ousmane Dembele maybe left for Barcelona a moment too early. Erling is far in his development, but he is not complete.”
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