Barcelona have reportedly opened talks with Ivory Coast striker Sebastien Haller over a transfer from Dutch giants AFC Ajax.

According to a report from El Nacional, Barcelona are interested in signing AFC Ajax striker Sebastien Haller and have opened talks with the Ivory Coast international over a possible transfer.

Haller signed for Ajax only in January earlier this year after a sorry stint at West Ham United. Since moving to the Netherlands, though, the 27-year-old has turned around things brilliantly. Having managed just 14 goals in 54 matches during his time in east London, the French-Ivorian striker has plundered 33 goals in just 46 games for the Dutch heavyweights already.

Haller has been in deadly form in the ongoing campaign, already bagging 20 goals and six assists in 23 matches in all competitions. With ten strikes in six games, he is also the leading goalscorer in the UEFA Champions League. And, it seems like his exploits have put him on the radars of La Liga giants Barcelona.

The Catalans are in desperate need of a new striker as they are lacking a proper No. 9, having lost Sergio Aguero while Luuk de Jong is set to leave the club in January. Martin Braithwaite is expected to return from his injury soon, but the Dane is a backup option at best. So, the Blaugrana have been heavily linked with several centre-forwards heading into the January transfer window.

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Manchester United’s Edinson Cavani is believed to be close to signing for Barça, although, given his age, he will be a short-term solution at best. As a result, the La Liga giants are expected to go after a prolific striker again in the summer, with links to Erling Haaland refusing to go away, despite the club’s financial plight.

However, the Norwegian could prove to be an expensive option, which has led to Joan Laporta identifying cost-effective alternatives, with Haller emerging as one. Barcelona are believed to have already started talks with the striker and his camp and have received a positive response, with the 27-year-old open to a switch to Camp Nou.

While Barcelona would be open to signing the Ivory Coast international in January itself, Ajax have made it clear that their star striker will not be allowed to leave mid-season. Nevertheless, a sale would be possible in the summer. Having signed him for a fee of €22 million from West Ham, the Dutch champions will demand double that amount for his sale, which the Catalans are believed to be willing to pay, as per the report.

Any move, though, would have to wait till the summer.

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