Erling Haaland

Barcelona 'hopeful' of winning race to sign Erling Haaland

Graeme Bailey
Erling Haaland
Erling Haaland / Lars Baron/Getty Images)
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Barcelona are 'hopeful' they will win the race to sign Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund, 90min understands.

The 21-year-old, born in Leeds, looks set to leave the Bundesliga giants this summer, with a host of clubs already talking to his representatives.

Haaland has a release clause of just under £70m, meaning Dortmund are not able to prevent him from leaving - providing that money is put on the table.

However, 90min has learned that some clubs are willing to pay more to do a deal with Dortmund, as that would allow them to structure payments rather than having to stump up the amount in full - which is required to trigger a release clause.

That is the method Barcelona will most likely look to use, should they be able to persuade Haaland that his next move should be to Camp Nou.

Barca have managed to battle through severe financial difficulties over the past year - leading to a significant reduction in their wage bill and the targeting of free agents and loans - and president Joan Laporta is confident they are again in a position to challenge for the best players in the world, including Haaland.

The Norwegian's representatives, led by super agent Mino Raiola and his father Alf-Inge, have been meeting with clubs for a number of months, and sources close to the situation have told 90min that Barcelona 'can't be ruled out' and remain 'hopeful' of securing his signature - though they know it will be a tough battle to win.

Premier League champions Manchester City - ironically the club Haaland supported as a child as that is who he watched his father Alf Inge play for - are extremely keen to sign him, too, and although they are keen to not break their existing wage structure, a deal would be sanctioned to sit Haaland alongside Kevin De Bruyne as the club's highest earner.

Real Madrid are also long-term admirers of Haaland, but Kylian Mbappe has always been their primary target and that remains the case - though sources also believe a deal for both of the world's young striking superstars can't be ruled out.

Playing in Spain is understood to be a big attraction to Haaland, which could give Real and Barca the edge, but there's also significant interest from Paris Saint Germain and Bayern Munich. 90min understands that both clubs have held talks with with the player's intermediaries and they remain in the running to sign him.

Chelsea are another who would love to sign Haaland, but their current ownership issues and the sanctions imposed on Roman Abramovich has seen their interest stagnate in recent weeks.

It is widely anticipated that Haaland will make his decision within the next month, but a public announcement may not be made until the end of the season.

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