Erling Haaland’s agent Mino Raiola and his father Alfie have arrived in Barcelona this morning amid speculation the Norwegian striker could join the Catalan giants.
Haaland is one of the most sought-after players in Europe, having scored 49 goals in as many games since arriving from RB Salzburg last January, with Manchester United, City, and Chelsea all interested in the 20-year-old.
But Barcelona’s new president Joan Laporta seems to have stolen a march on his competitors after his assistant picked up Haaland’s agent and father from the airport on Thursday morning as the pair arrived for talks over a £154million move.
Raiola and Haaland Snr flew in from Nice at 9:30 am, before holding a two-hour meeting with Laporta and Barca’s new director of football Mateu Alemany, who sold the club and next season’s project to Haaland’s representatives.
A video has emerged of the duo arriving in Catalonia today, as reported by Spanish outlet SPORT.
New Barca president Laporta’s priority is to sign the Norwegian forward this summer, with Dortmund valuing their star man at £154million.
Even though Barca are in a precarious financial state, amid debts soaring past £1billion, Raiola’s excellent personal relationship with Laporta means there is optimism at the Nou Camp that a deal for Haaland could be reached.
The forward has a £65m release clause at Dortmund which only comes into effect in 2022, but he could leave this summer as Dortmund struggle to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
The news of Raiola and Haaland Snr in Barcelona comes as the hierarchy at Dortmund reportedly saw Raiola’s comments on the player this week as a ‘declaration of war’.
The super-agent admitted he was ‘maybe too careful’ in facilitating a move to Dortmund instead of Man United for Haaland last year, and used the phrase: ‘Oh no, let’s move to Dortmund instead.’
But the Bundesliga club responded angrily to Raiola’s phrasing, with German outlet Sport 1 saying they see it as a ‘declaration of war’ while Raiola ‘plays poker’ for the Norwegian’s next big move.