Erling Haaland’s representatives have arrived in Barcelona for talks with club president Joan Laporta.
Agent Mino Raiola and Alf Inge, the father of Borussia Dortmund striker Haaland, are in the Spanish city and were collected at the airport by members of Laporta’s team.
The pair are expected to meet Laporta, who was elected as Barca president last month.
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The talks increase speculation over Haaland’s future, although it is unclear how Barcelona would finance a deal with the club wrestling with huge debt, caused largely by the coronavirus pandemic.
Haaland, 20, is under contract at Dortmund until 2024 but has a reported €75m (£66m) release clause, which comes into effect in the summer of 2022.
A host of top clubs have been linked with a move for the Norwegian, including Manchester City and Real Madrid.
Haaland has become one of Europe’s biggest names after scoring 48 goals in his first 48 games for the Bundesliga side, after joining from Red Bull Salzburg for just £17m at the end of 2019.
Could Haaland head to England?
On the Pitch to Post podcast, Jasper Taylor was joined by Sky Sports News’ Dharmesh Sheth and skysports.com’s Gerard Brand to discuss the options, and likelihood of Haaland leaving in the coming months.
The Raiola factor
Dharmesh Sheth on the Pitch to Post podcast:
“Man City would be an interesting move. The reports earlier this month were that the frosty relationship between Raiola and Pep Guardiola would not prevent a deal going through. The relationship was soured back in 2010 when Raiola took issue to the way Guardiola was dealing with one of his clients, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, while at Barcelona.
“Raiola described Guardiola as a ‘coward’, ‘a dog’ and a ‘zero person’ but those hostilities apparently won’t stop a deal being done.
“But we talk about Manchester City and Raiola, but we must remember Manchester United have Paul Pogba in their squad, another Raiola client. Raiola has already spoken out about Pogba in the past wanting to leave, as we know. I don’t think what he previously said would have gone down too well with Manchester United.”
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Where does he fit in?
Gerard Brand on the Pitch to Post podcast:
“Where does he fit in? The answer to that is simple: he fits in anywhere. We talk a lot about potential and wonderkids – and there is plenty of potential bought and sold every summer for £50m, £60m, that’s what you pay for potential these days – but I think this is a player who comes along every five or six years, and you do everything to sign him.
“It’s hard to say who would be in pole position for this. Yes, Manchester City are running away with the league and often without a proper striker – and Pep actually said earlier this month that City are not a team with a 20-goal striker, because the goals come from everywhere. But I can’t see Pep carrying on that way, and I think he will want a forward.
“He also slots in nicely down the road at Manchester United because they have played with a similar centre forward in Edinson Cavani this season and seen a benefit at times. Of course, he will not be there for the long term.
“On first glance at Chelsea, you would think, ‘Where does he fit in?’ among all that attacking quality, but Timo Werner could actually operate more as a second striker or from the left, plus you would expect Giroud to leave and I am not sure Tammy Abraham can keep Erling Haaland out of a side.
“Then there’s Liverpool. They have not been shy in spending in the past – they spent a combined £150m on a defender and goalkeeper in Van Dijk and Alisson – and I am not sure we realise just how big a name Jurgen Klopp still is in Dortmund, and how that might have an impact.”
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