Club president Joan Laporta has reportedly sent a message to top target Erling Haaland ahead of the summer transfer window and told the Borussia Dortmund striker that he is Barcelona‘s “first option to strengthen the attack” but he needs “time to make it work.”
The report adds that there is “optimism” at the Camp Nou that Haaland could be lured to Barcelona this summer and consider the Norwegian to be a “strategic” and “vital” signing.
Yet it will not be an easy transfer to pull off, particularly with a host of other top clubs also interested, and Barcelona knows “they will need everything to fall into place to do the deal financially.”
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Who Will Leave Barcelona?
Laporta is willing to put both Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho up for sale this summer in an attempt to finance a deal for Haaland, according to Deportes Cuatro.
Coutinho is valued at around €50 million ($59m), while Barcelona is willing to listen to offers for Griezmann. Laporta may also be willing to part company with Ousmane Dembele if the forward does not renew his contract.
Dembele’s current deal expires in 2022, and he is due to meet Laporta to discuss his future. If he is not willing to extend his deal, which may also require taking a pay-cut, then Barca will sell to avoid losing him on a free transfer next year.
Griezmann Wants To Stay
Yet finding buyers may be difficult in the summer transfer window, particularly with most of Europe’s top clubs hit financially hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
Another problem for Barcelona lies in the shape of Coutinho. The Brazilian has become something of a forgotten man at the Camp Nou after being ruled out of action back in January with a serious knee injury
Coutinho will have few chances to impress potential admirers ahead of the window as he has suffered a setback in his recovery and is not now expected back before the end of the season.
The only chance Barca may have of putting Coutinho in the shop window is if he is fit in time for the Copa America. The tournament kicks off in June and the Barcelona man will be hoping to be available to take his place in the Brazil squad
Griezmann may also need some convincing his future lies elsewhere. Catalunya Radio report, via AS, that the World Cup winner is “is eager to prove himself to Barcelona and Laporta” and is not thinking about leaving.
The France international has largely failed to live up to his huge €120 million ($135m) price tag since swapping Atletico Madrid for Barcelona in the summer of 2019 but does still have another three years left on his contract.