So it begins. Erling Braut Haaland’s agent, the ever-charming Mino Raiola, has very publicly met with both Barcelona and Real Madrid about a potential transfer from Dortmund.
Haaland’s papa, Alf Inge, joined Raiola in talks with Barcelona president Joan Laporta and Real Madrid’s Florentino Perez.
Does this mean Haaland will be playing in La Liga next season? Well, no. For one thing, Dortmund are hell-bent on keeping their star striker for at least one more season – his contract expires in the summer of 2024 – but also, this is Raiola on the campaign trail; he is driving interest in his client, and therefore pushing up the price to what could be a truly eye-watering fee.
Haaland’s current value is in the £130m ball-park, but no doubt Raiola thinks he can beef that up by another £20-30m, if not more.
Barcelona are known to be up to their neck in debt, but that hasn’t stopped them before. Real have set aside a big chunk of change to make a superstar signing, but it’s understood they prefer PSG’s Kylian Mbappe.
Manchester City wait in the wings, and certainly need a new goal machine as Sergio Aguero is moving on at the end of this season.
If I had to put money on Haaland’s next club, I’d tip City, not the Liga giants. Money is not a concern for City, and Haaland has connections to both England (he was born in Leeds) and the Sky Blues – according to his dad, Erling supports Leeds, Nottm Forest and City (Alf Inge played for all three), but the level of that support is unclear.
If you think you’re getting bored of the Haaland transfer merry-go-round, sit tight, as it will run for months at least.