Borussia Dortmund goal machine Erling Haaland remains the dream for Barcelona, and many of Europe’s top clubs, and the Catalan giants are already planning how it might be possible to land the 20-year-old.
New president Joan Laporta’s “big objective” is to sign a “top player” for Barcelona this summer which basically means Haaland, according to Diario Sport’s Sergi Capdevila. The striker will come in and join an impressive raft of youngsters already at the club such as Pedri, Ansu Fati, Ilaix Moriba, Sergino Dest, Ousmane Dembele, and Frenkie de Jong.
Capdevila reports that to do this Barca has already drawn up a list of players who can be sold in order to free up funds to land Haaland. Big-names such as Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho are on the list along with Martin Braithwaite, Miralem Pjanic, back-up goalkeeper Neto, and defenders Samuel Umtiti and Junior Firpo.
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Haaland Shines Again
Haaland has been in prolific form since joining Dortmund in January 2020 and continued to show exactly whe he’s so highly rated this week in key games against Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga and Sevilla in the Champions League.
The 20-year-old put Dortmund 2-0 up against Bayern on Saturday, taking his tally to 100 goals in all competitions despite his tender years. Haaland has reached his century faster than a host of big names including Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi.
Games taken to reach 100 career goals:
Haaland – 146
Mbappe – 180
Messi – 210
Ibrahimovic – 245
Ronaldo – 301 pic.twitter.com/AYWLsSyfZE
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 6, 2021
Bayern came back to win the match 4-2 with Robert Lewandowski stealing the headlines from Haaland with a hat-trick for the defending champions.
Yet Haaland was back in the goals in midweek as Dortmund booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. The striker scored twice in a 2-2 draw with Sevilla that sends the Bundesliga team through 5-4 on aggregate.
The goals also mean Haaland hit yet another landmark during the game in what’s been a phenomenal week for the youngster.
✅ UCL Player of the Week
✅ Fewest appearances to reach 20 Champions League goals
✅ Youngest player in history to score 20 Champions League goals
Just another week in the life of Erling Haaland 🇳🇴 pic.twitter.com/cEQNjY0FzM
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 12, 2021
It was a different story altogether for Barcelona who exited the tournament at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain. The Catalan giants missed a host of chances throughout the match which simply highlighted their need for a new No. 9.
Griezmann Comes In For Criticism
Yet Barca will have to wave goodbye to some big names if Haaland is to arrive at the Camp Nou. Griezmann is named on the list and has come in for scrutiny after going nine games without a goal for Barca.
Former Barca forward Hristo Stoichkov has hit out at the Frenchman this week and questioned why he is still at the club, as reported by Diario Sport.
“Whenever Griezmann is on the pitch, Barcelona are playing with 10 players,” he said. “If they want to do anything in the long-term, they have to sell him. Trincao and Braithwaite should be on the pitch. What’s Griezmann doing there?”
Finding a buyer for Griezmann and Coutinho could be tough with Europe’s biggest clubs having all been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. ESPN’s Mark Ogden reports that so far there are “few takers” for the duo.