Erling Haaland is the centre-forward who is wanted by Europe’s elite clubs in the summer, although it is not yet apparent just who will win the race for the prodigious Norwegian with Manchester City, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich all in the running.
There is also, thus, the small matter of the selling club, Borussia Dortmund, who are almost being treated as an afterthought in this process, yet they have made all involved very clear that they want the situation resolved before the end of March, so they can start their own summer business in earnest.
With not much time to go until the end of March, it’s worth taking a look at just who is pushing hardest to sign the forward:
The Premier League champions are very well placed to sign the player for several reasons. Firstly, they have the economic power to do so with their Abu Dhabi funding as well as the money saved when Sergio Aguero‘s 14 million euros per annum salary walked out the exit door.
The English club are also the most complete team linked to Haaland, he would arrive knowing that he would win trophies, whilst there is also the emotional element the Manchester club can play on given the fact Haaland’s father represented the Blues in the early 2000s.
Florentino Perez wants both Kylian Mbappe and Haaland. At first the Spanish club asked Haaland to remain in Dortmund for a further with an increased buyout clause, but the player himself wasn’t keen on the idea.
Pressure from rivals has ensured that Los Blancos will not be able to proceed with the process of persuading Haaland to remain in Germany for another season, and the club will have to sign him this summer if they want to add him to their team, even if it will mean sacrificing other positions of need.
Joan Laporta has made the promise to sign Haaland and he is working incredibly hard to fulfil it. The major obstacle which is standing in his way is an economic one, with Barcelona’s financial situation still delicate to say the least.
The Blaugrana’s spending power hinders on two major financial agreements with CVC and the sale of 49% of Barca Estudios, which will bring an influx of cash into the Catalan club.
Even with that in the back-pocket, Laporta will still need to secure a significant decrease in the club’s wage bill, even if it is taken for granted that both Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele will leave in the summer.
Time isn’t on Laporta’s side in this regard, so he has enlisted Xavi to try and tempt Haaland, with the pair meeting in Munich earlier in March.
Once seen as rank-outsiders in the Haaland stakes, Robert Lewandowski’s contractual situation has brought the Bavarian giants back into play… in a big way.
If the Polish forward leaves the Allianz Arena this summer, the club will need a ready-made centre-forward to take his place, and there is nobody more suited than Haaland, who settled in the Bundesliga like a duck to water.
Mino Raiola has offered the player to Bayern Munich, who are now peeking through the ajar door at the auction.
Haaland’s current club want the matter resolved quickly, plus they aren’t discounting Haaland continuing for another year, but it is looking more and more unlikely.
If Haaland is to leave, a replacement would need to arrive and Dortmund want to start scouting as soon as possible to avoid targets being taken elsewhere.