Barcelona are reportedly unwilling to shell out €100 million to land Red Bull Salzburg sensation Erling Haaland, who already has 26 goals this season.
According to a report by ESPN, Barcelona are interested in signing Norwegian teenage sensation Erling Braut Haaland. But, the La Liga champions have balked at the Red Bull Salzburg striker’s €100 million valuation, deeming it as excessive.
Erling Haaland is the latest player to take Europe by storm after a stunning start to the 2019-20 season, his first full term with Red Bull Salzburg. The 19-year-old has been a part of the Austrian giants since January, but it is only the first three months of the current campaign that have ended up shining the spotlight on him.
In just 18 appearances across all competitions, Haaland has a mind-boggling return of 26 goals and 6 assists, which means he has made a direct contribution to a goal every 39 minutes. And, his exploits have invariably been attracting the who’s who of European football, with Barcelona among those who are interested in him.
Antoine Griezmann was the star signing for Barcelona in the summer. But, the Frenchman has seldom been used as the central striker by Ernesto Valverde, with Luis Suarez still leading the line for the Catalan giants. But, at 32, Suarez is not getting any younger and is starting to show signs of slowing down with age.
Beyond Suarez, and Griezmann to an extent, Valverde does not have any striker to fall back upon, which is why the need to sign a striker has propped up. To that end, Barcelona are keeping a keen eye on the progress of Haaland, who has also been linked with Manchester United.
But, Red Bull Salzburg have slapped a €100 million price tag on the 19-year-old, which has left Barcelona flinching. The Blaugrana have iterated that the asking price is “not in line with his market value” and are unprepared to shell out the required sum to acquire his services.
Red Bull Salzburg, who have Haaland tied to them till the summer of 2023, are understandably in a strong position due to the absence of a release clause and his form has enabled them to spike his valuation.
So, while Haaland could potentially be a long-term replacement for Luis Suarez at Barcelona, it is highly unlikely that they will meet his €100 million valuation. It now remains to be seen if an agreeable fee can be negotiated, or if they are forced to set their sights elsewhere in search of a striker.