Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta has claimed he could be able to bring Borussia Dortmund goal machine Erling Haaland to the club in the summer should the Catalan giants require a big-name signing.
Laporta, who is the favorite to be named Barcelona president in the club’s elections in March, was asked about the possibility of signing Haaland despite the club’s financial difficulties, as reported by ESPN’s Jordi Blanco.
The interviewer asked, “If the squad needs an upgrade, do you have cards ready to reinforce it? Can you think of a player like Haaland?” Laporta replied, “Yes. I have all the cards ready to face any situation and if we have to improve the football team I have the cards ready to play them.”
The presidential favorite was also bullish on the future of captain Lionel Messi who is out of contract at the end of the season. He added, “I maintain the will to convince Leo Messi to continue at Barça. Within our possibilities and competing against clubs that are state owned and can pay him much more, I will try to convince him to continue and help us build the Barça of present and future.”
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Haaland Hitting the Headlines
Haaland is one of Europe’s hottest strikers currently and enhanced his growing reputation with two goals against Sevilla on Wednesday night. The Norwegian’s brace helped Dortmund to a 3-2 win at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.
The 20-year-old now has eight goals in five appearances in Europe’s top competition this season and certainly seems to thrive on the biggest stage.
Champions League goals since the start of last season:
Erling Haaland – 18
Inter Milan – 17
Man United – 15
Napoli – 13
Valencia – 13 pic.twitter.com/hs9VFW5HgJ
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) February 18, 2021
Haaland spoke after the match and said he had been inspired by Kylian Mbappe’s hat-trick against Barcelona at the Camp Nou, as reported by ESPN. He said, “when I saw Mbappe score the hat trick, I got free motivation, so thanks to him. He scored some nice goals and I got a free boost from him, so it was nice.”
Laporta Talks PSG Defeat
Laporta also spoke about Barcelona’s defeat to PSG which has left the Catalan giants on the brink of being knocked out of the tournament. The 58-year-old says the team need support after such a damaging result.
I spoke with a player after the game. He was down, pissed off, but he was precisely the one who set an example by wanting to play out of an injury. We cannot leave them alone and we will be by their side and help them regain the winning mentality. I was also angry, with a huge disappointment, thinking only of going to sleep. But the message is very clear: we must be with our players.
The Barcelona presidential elections will take place on March 7 with Laporta, who was president previously between 2003 and 2010, up against Victor Font and Toni Freixa. Laporta is the hot favorite after garnering the most signatures from members.