Erling Haaland: All you need to know about Norwegian star
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Barcelona president Joan Laporta made comments during a frank TV interview this week which will undoubtedly have put rival European heavyweights on high alert. One was about next summer’s transfer plans which he described as ‘ambitious’, a statement which could impact all clubs preparing to swoop for Erling Haaland.
With Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann and Emerson Royal off the books, among others, Laporta claims that Barca are in a much healthier financial position.
By his own account according to an interview he conducted for ESport3, that should allow the club to chase ‘ambitious targets’ next summer.
Based on the chaos which has marred their past few months, they could be best advised to hold back on massive transfer fees for the next couple of years.
However, it was not that philosophy that got them into a mess in the first place, so another period of erratic spending is not out of the question.
When ‘next summer’ and ‘ambitious targets’ are mentioned, it is almost impossible for Haaland not to feature in the same sentence.
With a £65million release clause which becomes active in 2022, signing a young striker of his calibre for that price could be a once-in-a-generation opportunity.
Of course, being the historically significant club that they are, Barca still have plenty of pulling power, but their pursuit of the Norwegian would not be unrivalled.
Based on the events of this summer, Liverpool and Manchester City would be the most likely to go all out when the opportunity arises.
The Reds must soon tackle an ageing strike-force, while the Blues effectively have no strike-force at all after Sergio Aguero left without replacement.
Haaland’s father, Alf-Inge, used to play for City in the early-2000s, which could be something Pep Guardiola’s side use to their advantage.
If Laporta sticks to his guns, Barca could also be right in the mix, although it remains to be seen whether their chaotic summer would be enough to put Haaland off the idea.
Real Madrid have always been there or there abouts, but the inevitable signing of Kylian Mbappe from PSG could yet price them out of a deal.
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Manchester United would surely like to be among the Premier League candidates to secure Haaland’s signature, although Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival could have something to say about that.
Elsewhere among Europe’s elite, Chelsea opted for Romelu Lukaku instead, while Bayern carry the distinct disadvantage of being Borussia Dortmund’s arch-rivals – not that it has stopped other players in the past.
In truth, if Laporta is keen to bring more than a touch of star-power back to the Camp Nou next summer by targeting Haaland, he would merely be joining the queue.
Who knows where the player has his heart set, however, as joining the queue may be all that is required for the right team.
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