Guardiola and Laporta in race with Real Madrid for Haaland
With Bayern Munich out of the running, Man City will go head-to-head with the Spanish sides for Haaland. Raiola and the forward's father have held talks with Laporta and Madrid.
With his statements in The Athletic, Mino Raiola kicked off the bidding war for Erling Haaland this week. "Maybe I was too careful with Haaland when I said, 'oh no, let's go to Dortmund first instead of I don't know where,'" said the super-agent about the Norwegian. "This boy - I’m 100 per cent convinced and everybody’s convinced - can move to any club, wherever he wants, already on this level. And he could have done that last year. But maybe last year there were still teams (saying), 'Oh, he was in Red Bull, can he do it in another club?'. He is quicker than his own prediction. So yeah, Haaland is the talk of the town."
Haaland has scored 33 goals in 31 games for Borussua Dortmund so far this season and has notched 20 goals in his 14 Champions League games to date.
Real Madrid want Haaland to lead the line
However, the current situation in the world of football due to the economic consequences of the coronavirus crisis has greatly reduced the financial capacity of the big players, those hit hardest by the absence of supporters in stadiums. For Real Madrid, for example, there has been a reported 25% drop in revenue, exceeding 200 million euros. However, Los Blancos will bet heavily this summer on Haaland in a bid to relaunch their sporting project for the next decade.
Manchester City will also be involved in the race to sign the 20-year-old. On Wednesday, the British newspapers indicated that City have the desire to replace the outgoing Sergio Agüero, who has just announced his departure from the Premier League after a decade there. This amount would include the transfer that Dortmund will ask for Haaland, €180 million is already being discussed, and a salary that, they consider in England, could be in the region of €36 million gross per season.
On Thursday, Raiola and Haaland's father were met upon arrival in Barcelona to meet with the new Barcelona leader Laporta. For Madrid, Haaland is one of their future priorities and they do not want to lose out on him. Therefore, taking advantage of the fact that Haaland Sr and Raiola were in Barcelona, they organised a meeting with both on the same day to discuss the future of the striker.
Esports3 report that Raiola has informed them that Haaland only wants to play for Barça or Real Madrid. The Barça leaders have said that they want the Norwegian, but they have also admitted that due to Barça's economic difficulties, the idea is to sign him in the summer of 2022, when the player will have a release clause of €75 million. On the other hand, to sign him at the end of this season, he would have to negotiate with Borussia Dortmund, who would not sell him for less than €150 million.
Bayern chief rules out move
It is clear that Barcelona and Real Madrid are the ones that have taken the lead in the race to sign the goalscoring machine. Bayern Munich president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, has already ruled out the option of signing Haaland, for now: "I don't know where the rumors come from. All I can say is that we have the best footballer in the world in this position. Robert Lewandowski has a contract until 2023 and I am convinced that, considering his professionalism, how he trains and takes care of his body, it will not be his last year here. "
According to Mundo Deportivo, Mino Raiola and Haaland's father will soon meet in London with representatives of City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool.
Guardiola and Raiola have history
Barcelona are in the discussion because of the excellent relationship between Joan Laporta, recently elected culé president, and Mino Raiola. But Barça's complicated economic situation puts them at the tail end of the race. City will be hard to outbid if they do indeed put in a proposal. Alfe-Inge Haaland, father of the Dortmund forward, played for three seasons at City. The disastrous relationship between Raiola and Guardiola doesn't help however, a consequence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic's brief stint at Barcelona in 2009-10. In his interview with The Athletic, Raiola acknowledged that the tension is still there: "My book with Guardiola is closed, everyone knows what we think of each other. But he is a great coach."
Madrid also have a strong relationship with Dortmund from many transfer dealings over the years, including Sahin, Achraf and Reinier. Despite the lack of harmony that exists between Florentino Pérez and Raiola, the Italian agent wants to do business with Real Madrid, now that Jorge Mendes' influence with the Spanish giants has fallen.