PICTURED: Erling Haaland’s father Alfie and agent Mino Raiola land in Barcelona, and are picked up by Joan Laporta’s assistant for talks, as Catalans bid to lead the £154m transfer race
- Joan Laporta’s assistant picked up Erling Haaland’s dad and agent on Thursday
- Barcelona are looking to steal a march on their rivals for the in-demand forward
- Manchester United, Man City and Real Madrid are all interested in the striker
- Haaland has been sensational for Dortmund, who have set a £154m valuation
- Raiola and Haaland Snr. had a two-hour meeting with Barcelona executives
Erling Haaland’s agent Mino Raiola and his father Alfie have arrived in Barcelona this morning amid speculation the Borussia Dortmund striker could join the Spanish 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 as 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.
The pair flew in from Nice at 9:30, before having a two-hour meeting with Laporta and Barca’s director of football Mateu Alemany, who sold the club and next season’s project to Raiola and Haaland Snr.
Erling Haaland’s father Alfie (L) and agent Mino Raiola (R) arrived in Barcelona on Thursday
The 20-year-old (pictured with his dad last year) could leave Borussia Dortmund this summer
Haaland’s future is the subject of much speculation with Dortmund setting a £154m valuation
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 Camp Nou that a deal for Haaland could be reached.
The forward has a £65m release clause at Dortmund which only comes into effect in 2022 and he could leave this summer as Dortmund struggle to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
The news of Raiola and Alfie in Barelona comes as the hierarchy at Borussia Dortmund reportedly saw Raiola’s comments on Haaland this week as a ‘declaration of war’.
The super agent admitted he was ‘maybe too careful’ in facilitating a move to Dortmund for Haaland last year instead of Man United, and used the phrase: ‘Oh no, let’s move to Dortmund instead.’
But the Bundesliga club has responded angrily to Raiola’s phrasing, with German outlet Sport 1 saying the club’s hierarchy see it as a ‘declaration of war’ as Raiola ‘plays poker’ for the Norwegian’s next big move.
Barcelona’s new president Joan Laporta has his sights set on signing Haaland this summer
Speaking to The Athletic, Raiola said: ‘With Haaland, everybody was wrong. He did things much quicker than everybody imagined.
‘Haaland is in front of his own development. He is ahead of his own schedule. Maybe I was too careful when I said, “Oh no, let’s move to Dortmund instead of I-don’t-know-where”.
‘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 (Salzburg), can he do it in another club?”.
‘He is quicker than his own prediction. So yeah, Haaland is the talk of the town.’
Dortmund (pic CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke) see Raiola’s comments as a ‘declaration of war’
Previous negotiations between United and Haaland’s representatives collapsed after the Premier League giants refused to meet their demands.
It is understood Dortmund agreed to give Raiola and the player’s father a significant share of the player’s future sales value, which the hierarchy at Old Trafford were reticent to sanction.
But in December 2019, Raiola insisted it was Haaland who rejected the advances of United after the Red Devils blamed the agent for the deal collapsing.
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