News that Erling Haaland’s agent, Mino Raiola, and father, Alf-Inge Haaland, have been talking to Barcelona about a possible deal will have anyone of a blaugrana persuasion rubbing their hands together.
It’s also worth pointing out at this stage that the pair then took a plane straight to Madrid and are expected to talk with Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United on Good Friday in what is a whistle-stop tour of the world’s biggest football clubs.
Make no mistake, Erling Haaland is the game’s hottest property.It’s no wonder that all the big teams are making their intentions crystal clear straight off of the bat.
Even if he is going to cost €150m this summer as opposed to half that in 12 months time, that is, potentially, a fee that the Catalans and their competitors are willing to pay.
If reports are to be believed, Raiola has been on a fact-finding mission to assess the relative merits of any club willing to take his client, and also to see if it is indeed possible for them to sign him.
Barca, for example, are over €1billion in debt, and the restructuring that Joan Laporta is undertaking as president is going to take all of his powers of persuasion to get the banks and financial institutions on side.
Lionel Messi, still undecided about his future after this season, will need to see that Barca can demonstrate that they do have a club capable of winning the Champions League in the next two seasons, in order to convince him to stay rather than walk away for nothing.
Getting Haaland would be the best example that Laporta means business and will do whatever is necessary to ensure that the Argentinian only wears the shirt of another club when he believes his professional life at an elite club has come to a natural end.
That’s at least two years hence, meaning Laporta has to work hard and fast to get in the right men to surround Messi.
Sales of players are bound to be needed in order to contribute to the numbers being acceptable to all too.
If that means the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Antoine Griezmann – two of Barca’s three most expensive signings – have to depart, so be it.
The associated cost saving in wages will help to swell the coffers and make the dream of bringing the young Norwegian to Camp Nou ever closer.
Whether, ultimately, Barca’s project is something that interests Haaland more than any other remains to be seen.