Barcelona president Joan Laporta has addressed the rumours linking the club with summer moves for Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland.
Speaking in an interview with Mundo Deportivo, Joan Laporta has opened up on the speculations linking Barcelona with transfer moves for Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe ahead of the summer window.
Barcelona are staring at a pivotal summer as they look to continue their rebuild under Xavi Hernandez. A marquee addition in the attacking unit is a priority for the Blaugrana as they look to fill the void left by Lionel Messi’s departure last summer. Erling Haaland has emerged as the top target for the club, with the Catalans pushing to sign him from Borussia Dortmund.
Recent reports had claimed that Barcelona had dropped out of the race to sign Haaland, with Manchester City and Real Madrid emerging as favourites to sign him up. In the aftermath of this, Laporta had commented how Barcelona would not do any deals that might jeopardise their financial position.
When quizzed about his statements and the club’s pursuit of Haaland, the Barcelona president reiterated the stance, saying, “I insist, I will not talk about specific players but I can tell you that we will not carry out any operation that puts the institution at risk.”
Barça president Laporta on Erling Haaland deal: "We will not complete any signing that could put the club at risk. That's our philosophy". ⚠️ #FCB
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) March 25, 2022
With a move for Haaland seemingly off, surprise links to Kylian Mbappe started doing the rounds. Barcelona were touted to be plotting to steal the 23-year-old Paris Saint-Germain superstar from under the noses of their bitter rivals Real Madrid, who are believed to be close to signing the French international.
However, Laporta downplayed those speculations, denying that Barcelona had made a move to try and sign Mbappe on a free transfer at the end of the season. “Here everyone is free to launch messages and proclamations and we already know that this is part of the world of football, that the big clubs are interested in great players,” he said.
“But I’m not going to enter, and you have to allow me not to, to talk about players because if I do, the only thing I can do is harm the interests of our club. If we talk about a player and we had the intention of signing him, we would increase the price. Neither with this player nor with others do I want to comment on issues because it would harm the interests of the club.”
“I think this is part of the show business of football, I have nothing to say about it,” he added. It remains to be seen if Laporta is playing coy regarding the links with Mbappe and Haaland or if Barcelona do end up launching moves to sign either of the two players before next season.