Barcelona have reportedly identified AFC Ajax striker Sebastien Haller as a transfer target as their quest to sign a new No. 9 in January continues.
According to a report from Fichajes, Barcelona have set their sights on AFC Ajax’s in-form hitman Sebastien Haller as manager Xavi Hernandez scours the market for attacking reinforcements.
Haller came through the ranks at French outfit AJ Auxerre and went on to feature over 50 times for the club before he moved to FC Utrecht in January 2015. He spent over two years with the Dutch outfit and then joined Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt in the summer of 2017, where he enjoyed a decent enough spell.
West Ham invested heavily in the Ivorian during the summer of 2019, but he never got going during his spell in London. Haller made 54 appearances for the east London outfit, managing just 14 goals. After a subpar eighteen-month stint, the 27-year-old joined Ajax in January earlier this year and has been in excellent form.
Since joining the Dutch champions, Haller has plundered 32 goals and 13 assists from 44 matches. The Ivory Coast international has been in red-hot form in the ongoing campaign, having already banged in 19 goals from just 21 appearances. Ten of those goals have come in his six games in the UEFA Champions League, with him being the current top-scorer in the competition ahead of Robert Lewandowski (9).
Having put his sorry stint in England behind him, Haler has found his mojo back and finds himself as a subject of interest from one of the biggest clubs in the world in Barcelona. It is no secret that the Catalans are on the hunt for reinforcements in the No. 9 role after seeing Sergio Aguero be sidelined indefinitely due to a heart condition.
Summer signing Luuk de Jong is not favoured by manager Xavi Hernandez while Memphis Depay has fizzled out after a bright start to life in Catalonia. With Martin Braithwaite also recovering from a serious injury, Barcelona have been left short-handed for options in the centre-forward role – something that the manager is intent on addressing in January.
To that end, the Blaugrana have been linked with several strikers ahead of the January transfer window, including Manchester United’s veteran star Edinson Cavani and Arthur Cabral of FC Basel, among others.
Now, Haller, too, has popped up on the radars of the La Liga bigwigs, although signing him will be an impossible task for them. Indeed, after having spent €22 million on his signing less than a year ago, Ajax have no intentions of selling him and will not entertain offers worth double the fee they paid for him. So, Barcelona’s pursuit of the 27-year-old is unlikely to yield the desired result.