Erling Haaland’s agent and father were spotted at Barcelona airport on Thursday in a move that will only fuel rumors the Borussia Dortmund striker could be heading to the Camp Nou this summer.
Mino Raiola, the striker’s representative, and father Alf-Inge Haaland, were received at the airport by one of Barcelona president Joan Laporta’s colleagues, as shown by journalist Albert Roge.
⚠️🔵🔴 Exclusiva @sport: Mino Raiola y el padre de Haaland están en BARCELONA. Los ha recibido en el aeropuerto el hombre de confianza de LAPORTA. Arrancan las negociaciones para que vista de azulgrana https://t.co/ZLJHEYEOGo #fcblive pic.twitter.com/jtwqKiHRz2
— Albert Rogé (@albert_roge) April 1, 2021
Laporta has reportedly already made Haaland his top target this summer amid interest from a host of Europe’s top clubs. Roge adds that the president met with Raiola and Haaland for two hours and confirmed his desire to land the striker. Haaland is said to be “open” to the possibility of signing for the Catalans but “everything will depend on the final price.”
Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano also confirmed details of the meeting and added that Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich are not in the race to land Haaland this summer.
Mino Raiola will meet/talk also with other top clubs in the next weeks… and Bayern Münich are *not* in the race for this summer. Raiola also met with BVB this week to discuss about the price as Haaland’s clause will be NOT valid in 2021, only in July 2022. 🇳🇴🟡 #Haaland
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) April 1, 2021
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Raiola Casts Doubt On Man City Move?
Raiola is a colorful character who is well-known for his provocative statements, and he has cast doubt on Haaland moving to Manchester City this summer with some powerful statements about manager Pep Guardiola.
The agent spoke to at The Athletic and made his feelings about the former Barcelona coach pretty plain.
“As for Mr Guardiola, I’ve closed the book already a long time ago. Everybody knows what I think of him personally and he can say what he thinks for me personally,” he said. “For the rest, I think he’s a great trainer. And that’s how it is. I will not shut up for anybody. I’ll give my opinion, I think that it is my right.”
Yet Manchester City will try to land a top striker this summer to replace the outgoing Sergio Aguero. The Citizens will not move for Lionel Messi but are keen on Haaland, Harry Kane, and Romelu Lukaku, according to Diario Sport.
It’s also worth noting that Haaland’s father spent three years of his playing career at Manchester City. He retired in 2003 after a knee injury, sustained in an infamous tackle with Manchester United’s Roy Keane, forced him to quit the game.
Haaland ‘Has House’ in Spain
It’s still not clear if Haaland will leave Dortmund this summer or where he will end up next season if he does move. Certainly, the striker will not lack for offers after continuing his prolific form for Dortmund in 2020-21. The 20-year-old has 21 goals in 21 Bundesliga appearances in the current campaign.
Haaland has given little away about his future plans but has set tongues wagging recently, according to Sport. He told Deportes Cuatro, “I already have a house in Spain” which suggests the youngster may be thinking of a future in La Liga.
Barcelona’s fierce rivals Real Madrid have also been linked with a move for Haaland this season as well as Paris Saint-Germain and France attacker Kylian Mbappe.
Haaland is expected to cost a fee in the region of €180 million ($212m) if he does move on this summer which will be problematic for Barcelona given the club’s enormous debts. The huge price tag has been designed by Dortmund to ward off interest from Europe’s top clubs, according to Stephan Uersfeld and Rodri Faez at ESPN.