Barcelona seem determined not to give up their summer pursuit of Erling Haaland, despite claims that fierce rivals Real Madrid have already ‘agreed’ with the striker to have first refusal.
Haaland has remained one of the most sought-after players in world football thanks to a record of 23 goals in 20 appearances for Borussia Dortmund this season. A €75m release clause that becomes active in summer also promises to cap any transfer fee well below hie true value.
Barcelona, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea have all been heavily linked with the Norwegian, who is remarkably still only 21.
Dortmund are also understandably keen to keep their talisman and have even held initial talks over a new contract, although they could also listen to offers of staggered payment plans if it means receiving an overall transfer fee that is larger than the much publicised clause.
- Real Madrid secure first refusal 'agreement' for Erling Haalan
- Borussia Dortmund plan new Erling Haaland contract talks
- Borussia Dortmund open to instalment bids to maximise Erling Haaland fee
On Friday afternoon, it was claimed in Spain that a meeting in Monaco between Real Madrid, Haaland’s father, the former Leeds and Manchester City player Alf-Inge, and agent Mino Raiola’s right-hand man, Rafael Pimenta, yielded an agreement to ‘block’ rival clubs from negotiating with the player. It would essentially mean Real getting first dibs on talks if others come to the table.
It was Barcelona-based publication SPORT that initially reported on Real and Haaland. But only a few hours later, the newspaper had a fresh story detailing Barça’s own ongoing efforts in the saga.
It is suggested that following meetings between Raiola and Camp Nou president Joan Laporta, the club is willing to trigger the €75m release clause and pay the necessary commissions to Raiola and Haaland Sr. The club is also pinning hopes on offering the player the chance to be the ‘great leader’ of a new generation at Barcelona, surrounded by the likes of Pedri, Gavi, Ansu Fati and more.
The notion is that Haaland wouldn’t have that same chance at Real Madrid, who are widely expected to sign Kylian Mbappe in the summer, converse to recent contradictory reports in Catalonia.
The Norwegian could also be the new face of Barcelona from a marketing standpoint in a way that no one has since Lionel Messi left the club last year. Regarding Messi, it is even said that Barça want Haaland to see the club as ‘synonymous’ with winning the Ballon d’Or because of the Argentine’s historic record, as well as others like Ronaldinho, Rivaldo and Hristo Stoichkov.
Despite widely known ongoing financial restraints – the club was in a dire position of technical bankruptcy when Laporta’s board first assumed office and they were happy to recently announce that €159m has been cut from the wage bill to fall in line with enforced salary limits – SPORT further claims that Barça are willing to pay Haaland €20m per season to make him the club’s top earner.
Barcelona were recently rumoured to be considering selling off a 49% stake in their own in-house media production company in order to raise €100m to fund their approach for Haaland.