FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta has already thrown cold water on an approach for Erling Haaland ahead of next season.
“Mateu Alemany, Jordi Cruyff and the staff are working on [signings],” Laporta said to Esport3 on Sunday when asked about the potential coup. “I understand the fans are excited, but there are operations that are very difficult.
“Even if our financial situation is the best it could possibly be, there are some deals that we would still not do for the sake of the club. We won’t do any deals that place the club’s [future] at risk,” he concluded.
Since originally saying that Haaland had been “seduced” by Barca’s proposal – possibly in an alleged meeting with first team coach Xavi Hernandez in Munich recently – the Catalan press now state that “at the Camp Nou they already see it as quite unlikely” Haaland will wear Blaugrana this summer after joining from Borussia Dortmund by first activating his €75mn ($82.5mn) release clause.
According to Sport, Barca are “scared” by the huge offers made to the Norwegian by other clubs such as Manchester City and Real Madrid, and are particularly fearful that the 21-year-old will end up donning a Los Blancos jersey alongside Kylian Mbappe, who may also turn up at the Bernabeu on a free transfer from Paris Saint Germain in the coming months.
With an official spending limit of -€144mn ($158mn) released yesterday by La Liga, a proposal surpassing €300mn ($330mn) including salary and agent commissions to Mino Raiola and the player’s father was always going to be a push for Barca, who are currently mired in debts circling $1.5bn.
Considering this, it is said they tried to push off a move for Haaland until 2023, but the striker is adamant that the time has already come to seek pastures new and build a legacy at one of Europe’s elite clubs, with Madrid better positioned to welcome him to their squad on the verge of winning the La Liga title.
Regardless, Barca will still try and sign a “crack”, or superstar, for the 2022/2023 campaign if that is Haaland or a much more weathered Robert Lewandowski.
A sensational return for Lionel Messi has also been rumored, but seems unlikely given he still has a year to run on his two-term deal at PSG.