Breaking reports from ESPN claim that Barcelona has officially made the first move towards initiating the transfer of young starlet Erling Haaland to the Catalan club.
While rumours of the transfer have been afloat for a long time, increasingly reliable reports are now claiming that a physical meeting has taken place.
Club president Joan Laporta has met with Haaland’s father, Alf-Inge, and his agent Mino Raiola in Barcelona. The meeting was not centred around any concrete agreements but rather to discuss the possibility of a transfer. According to Albert Roge, talks between Laporta, Barca’s new sporting director, Mateu Alemany, and Raiola went positively. The club reaffirmed their intention of signing Haaland, convinced that his salary would not be an issue.
Laporta views Haaland as a potential cornerstone for Barca for years to come, but the club’s dire financial situation makes signing the Norwegian striker a difficult task.
Recent reports from Fabrizio Romano claim that Borussia Dortmund will not be accepting any offer below €150M for Haaland; such numbers make a transfer for the young striker to Barca nearly impossible.
Nevertheless, Laporta is hopeful that his long-standing relationship with Haaland’s agent, Mino Raiola, could steer the forward his way.
According to sources, Barca’s technical director, Roman Planes, could also be key in the deal with the Spaniard having the trust of Raiola.
Dortmund is well aware of the first contact between Barcelona and Haaland’s representatives, and the German club expects further clubs to seek a transfer with the player.
Currently, Laporta and his board are examining the specific possibilities that would make a signing of this magnitude possible, given the club’s mounting debt.
According to Alex Kirkland, it is believed that the signing of Haaland would be key in Messi renewing his contract.
Such a presence of quality in the club, may help convince the Argentine that the Garnet and the Blue can still compete in world football.
In addition, Barca is working on the sales of several unimportant squad members in order to free up the wage bill.
Players who are on high wages but not contributing to the team, such as Philippe Coutinho, Samuel Umtiti, Miralem Pjanic, and other peripheral figures such as Neto, Todibo, Mattheus, Firpo, and Braithwaite are considered unimportant in Koeman’s project.
Moving such players on will be the key to making the signing of Haaland a possibility. It will also allow the prominence of La Masia players such as Riqui Puig, Ilaix Moriba, Alex Collado, Alejandre Balde, and Nico Gonzalez in the first team.
What is to come in the future for Haaland and Barca remains to be seen, but with recent developments at Camp Nou, there should be plenty of hope that the Norwegian dons the Blaugrana colours next season.
What’s most important is that Haaland’s agent informed Laporta that the player welcomes the idea of playing in Barcelona.