Making space for Haaland: The players Barcelona have to sell first

STORY

Barça will have to flog a number of players to be able to afford the Dortmund striker

| sport

Sergi Capdevila

Once settled into office at Camp Nou, Joan Laporta and his board of directors have a huge job to carry out on the pitch. But they knew that before taking charge.

The financial situation at the club is dramatic. Not only do they have to build a competitive squad for next season, but they also have to make a debt on the club's debt and reduce the wage bill.

HAALAND?

Focusing on improving the side for the 21-22 campaign (we will see if coach Ronald Koeman remains in charge), Laporta's big objective with the sporting department (Mateu Alemany and Jordi Cruyff) is to try and sign a TOP player, a young player who can excite the fans for their presence alone.

Pedri, Ansu, Ilaix, Dest, Dembele and De Jong must lead Barça in the short-to-medium-term in that sense, but the club also want someone else.

And when we speak about a player like that, we're basically referencing Erling Braut Haaland. At no moment has Laporta made any noise about the Borussia Dortmund man, but there are no doubts who he was referring to when he said "we will be ready to bring the best players in."

Laporta has a good relationship -- we could say friendship -- with Haaland's agent, Mino Raiola, who also manages Pogba, De Ligt and Ibrahimovic, among others.

But to make space for Haaland, many things need to happen first. Firstly, and most importantly, several players need to be moved on in the transfer window. That's one of the toughest challenges facing the new board. In that category are players like Junior Firpo, Philippe Coutinho, Antoine Griezmann, Martin Braithwaite, Neto, Samuel Umtiti and Miralem Pjanic.

Speculating about what could be brought in for those players, it would have to no less than 100 million euros. Keeping in mind Coutinho and Griezmann alone cost 250 million euros... But the context of the pandemic has devalued players. That and the fact that neither will do their bit to facilitate an exit.

Obviously, Matheus has to go to (in this case no money is expected) and then there are names like Clement Lenglet...

The idea is that money will only be spent on big signing, with other targets lined up for free, with Eric Garcia, Aguero, Memphis Depay and David Alaba on that list.

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