Manchester United’s pursuit of Borussia Dortmund phenomenon Erling Haaland has been boosted by the news that Barcelona have ruled themselves out of the race for his signature.
Haaland’s incredible record of 52 goals in his last 49 games – a sequence stretching back to the start of 2020/21 – has made him one of Europe’s most wanted players.
The Norwegian has a clause in his contract that makes him available for a knockdown €75m (£63.7m) in summer ’22. Most of Europe’s top clubs are expected to battle it out for his services.
However, as reported by Talksport, Barcelona’s well-documented financial struggles means the Catalan giants are unlikely to be among the chasing pack.
When asked about the likelihood of a Barca bid, Vice-president Rafael Yuste said, “No [we can’t afford him].
“The president and the CEO said it, that in the previous term, which…has been disastrous, they bought players without knowing if they could pay and that all they did was increase the debt, in addition to finding us the mass salary that we have encountered.
“First you have to put the partitions in a house that we have found in ruins, so let’s focus first on fortifying it, first feed the household and then we’ll see what we can do.
“Without losing sight of the fact that we always want to have the best, and Haaland, he is one of the best in the world.”
Barcelona president Joan Laporta recently revealed the club’s debt stands at an eye-watering £1.6bn. The scale of their financial woes led to the previously unthinkable situation of Lionel Messi being allowed to walk away from his boyhood club for free in the summer.
Even so, the Camp Nou was one of the first destinations on agent Mino Raiola and father Alf-Inge Haaland’s whirlwind tour of interested parties earlier this year.
Confirmation that the Spanish giants can’t afford to be dragged into what could become a very public auction will surely come as a boost the the likes of United.
The Red Devils’ interest in the young hotshot is thought to date back at least two years, prior to his switch from RB Salzburg to Dortmund in January ’20.
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer worked with Haaland at Molde and Reds’ fans will be hoping that he can use his inside-track to steer the clinical powerhouse towards Old Trafford.