Super-agent Mino Raiola has landed in Barcelona for talks with the Spanish side over a move for Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta is keen to rebuild the team around Haaland and has been exploring ways to raise money to pursue the 20-year-old, who is expected to command a fee of well over £100m.
Things stepped up on Thursday when Raiola and Haaland’s father, former Manchester City midfielder Alf-Inge, landed in Barcelona, where they met a car sent by Laporta and quickly headed off for a meeting with the president, as confirmed by Fabrizio Romano.
Raiola and Laporta are known to have a good relationship, which has given the Barcelona president confidence that he will be able to win the race for Haaland’s signature, although Barcelona are expected to face some intense competition.
Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea are all interested in Haaland, while Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are both keeping a close eye on things.
Despite all that, Laporta is understood to be confident that he can find the money from somewhere, with a handful of extra loans expected to add to any money raised from selling players once the transfer window opens.
Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho are two of the biggest names who are likely to head through the exit door, while fringe players like Martin Braithwaite and Francisco Trincao are facing uncertain futures as well.
Signing Haaland is all part of Laporta’s plan to convince Lionel Messi to stay at the club. AS note that Messi’s decision will likely rest on whether Barcelona can offer him a genuine shot at winning the Champions League in the near future, and signing Haaland would go a long way to helping that one.
The president is aware that Messi will receive more lucrative offers from the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City, but the hope is that the 33-year-old will not be swayed by money and will instead by impressed by Barcelona’s intent.