Erling Haaland thinks Barcelona ‘love him’, according to reports. The Borussia Dortmund star is wanted by the Catalan giants as a replacement for Luis Suarez. But Manchester United and Real Madrid are both keen on the forward as well amid uncertainty over his future at the Westfalenstadion.
Haaland has been in electric form for Dortmund this season, with the 20-year-old scoring 31 goals in the Bundesliga and Champions League combined.
And, consequently, Europe’s elite are determined to secure his signing.
Barcelona recently met with Mino Raiola, the striker’s controversial agent, to discuss a potential switch to Catalonia at the end of the campaign.
And, now, Sport claim the Norway international was left with the impression that Barcelona ‘love him’.
The La Liga giants are yet to sign a replacement for Suarez, who was allowed to leave Atletico Madrid back in the summer transfer window.
And though any deal for Haaland would be problematic to strike, that hasn’t stopped Barcelona from aggressively pursuing the forward’s signature.
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They do, however, have several alternatives.
Romelu Lukaku is of interest, with the Inter Milan star previously working under Ronald Koeman at Everton.
The Belgium international has been in majestic form for the Serie A giants this term and Barcelona, as a result, could make a move when the transfer window reopens.
His Inter team-mate, Lautaro Martinez, is also in their sights.
And Barcelona could even go after Harry Kane, who wants to leave Tottenham having grown fed up with life at the club under Jose Mourinho.
Manchester United are pressing hard to sign Haaland, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, John Murtough and Darren Fletcher all keen to see the 20-year-old move to Old Trafford.
Yet Barcelona, it seems, have got their own pursuit of Haaland off to a positive start.
Meanwhile, La Liga expert Guillem Balague thinks the sight of Raiola flying to Barcelona will have suited all parties involved.
“Everyone wins for this story to come out,” he said.
“If you want to get to Barcelona in secret, you can. It’s very easy.”
He then added: “They want to have conversations with the biggest names.
“Right now it’s not about focusing on the negatives but on the possibility of actually convincing Messi to stay and signing one superstar.”
“It doesn’t look bad to be caught in Barcelona talking to Barcelona because, of course, there is an auction for the player.
“We have already heard from Mino Raiola that perhaps he thought it was a good idea to stay at Borussia Dortmund for few years, but possibly already Haaland is in a position to move to a bigger club.”
Speaking recently, Koeman attempted to downplay talk of a deal for Haaland.
“Haaland? This is not a time to talk about a player who is not ours out of respect for his club,” the Barca boss told a press conference.
“There is talk of signings but I don’t like it and I need to focus on tomorrow’s game and the players we have.
“We’ll talk in the next few weeks on where we can improve but I will not respond to players who are not ours.”
Haaland isn’t the only player on Barcelona’s radar ahead of the summer transfer window.
They also want to land Dutch duo Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum, of Lyon and Liverpool respectively.
And they’d love to recruit Manchester City centre-back Eric Garcia, whose time at the Etihad Stadium appears to be winding down.