Barcelona are reportedly in pole position to sign Erling Haaland, who is also a target for bitter rivals Real Madrid.
According to a report by Catalan outlet El Nacional, Erling Haaland and Mino Raiola will prioritise a move to a club which will make him the central figure in their sporting project. And that has put Barcelona ahead of Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain in the race to sign the 21-year-old from Borussia Dortmund.
Erling Haaland has become one of the most sought-after players in the transfer market since making his breakthrough at Red Bull Salzburg a couple of years ago. Since then, he has made his way to Borussia Dortmund, joining the Bundesliga giants in January 2020. And in nearly two years since, he has established himself as one of the best strikers in the game.
To date, Haaland has garnered a stupendous record of 68 goals and 19 assists in 67 appearances for Dortmund, almost scoring goals for fun at times. Such remarkable progress in Germany has invariably put the Norwegian goal machine on the radars of the who’s who of European football, with Barcelona and Real Madrid among his suitors.
Real Madrid have for long been regarded as the favourites to sign Haaland next summer when a release clause will activate in his Dortmund contract. The interest in the 21-year-old makes sense as well, considering Karim Benzema is approaching the final phase of his career.
So, even though the Frenchman appears to be playing the best football of his career, the prudent move is to lay down a succession plan for him, which Haaland is a part of. On the other hand, Barcelona, who like Real Madrid have been tracking his progress since his time at Red Bull Salzburg, are in desperate need of a top class striker.
Indeed, following the departures of Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann, Barcelona are in dire straits in the final third, with goals coming at a premium. Two of the three strikers at Ronald Koeman’s disposal inspire little to no confidence while Sergio Aguero is in the twilight of his career.
With that in mind, Haaland is a viable target for Barcelona, who must throw everything including the kitchen sink to bring the Dortmund striker to Camp Nou. And as per El Nacional, the Catalan giants are leading Real Madrid in the race to sign Haaland, as they are ready to make him a central part of his project.
Real Madrid, as well as Paris Saint-Germain, cannot offer that, considering they are also in the hunt for Kylian Mbappe. Barcelona, on the other hand, need someone like Haaland to build their team around. Meanwhile, there have been suggestions that Manchester City are set to open talks with the player’s camp as well, meaning a full-blown transfer battle is setting up for his services.