Why didn't Barcelona sign Erling Haaland?
The Catalans were interested but it came down to paper stacks once again
Erling Haaland is one of the great protagonists of this edition of the Champions League, in which he has become, after his five goals against RB Leipzig, its top scorer with ten goals. The Norwegian also scored them in just over an hour of play, making him the player who has scored the most goals in a single match in the competition along with Leo Messi, who scored against Bayer Leverkusen, another German team. Both have done so under the same coach, Pep Guardiola. In fact, both could have shared a club, although for that to happen, many circumstances would have had to be different.
One of them, that Leo Messi was not shown the exit door when Barça broke the renewal agreement they had reached with the Argentine player; the other, that the club would have accepted the high economic demands that Haaland's entourage had put on the table so that his signing could have taken place. The current Manchester City striker was at the top of the list to reinforce the centre-forward position.
Barça tried in every way possible to convince the player that his arrival would be a huge boost for the club and that the project that was starting with Joan Laporta as president and Xavi Hernández on the bench was going to take shape quickly, that La Liga was the main objective, but that with him they could also aspire to higher levels at European level.
In fact, the coach travelled with Jordi Cruyff to meet with the Norwegian player. It was at the beginning of March 2022 when coach and sporting director travelled to Munich to meet with Haaland. There they explained to him, above all, the sporting project, key to the signing, although, apparently, not as much as the economic issue.
Laporta, for his part, had met on several occasions with his then agent, Mino Raiola, who sadly passed away in April 2022. They met in Barcelona, but also in Monaco. The president's idea was to convince his agent on the one hand and for Xavi and Cruyff to do the rest on their side. There was no way because the high commissions demanded by the Haaland side made the operation unfeasible.
His father, Alf-Inge Haaland, wanted more than 30 million euros for himself, while, obviously, Raiola's agency was also asking for its share, as was the player. In addition, there was the transfer fee of almost 60 million euros to get him out of Borussia Dortmund. Together with his salary, the total amount exceeded 300 kilos, an unattainable figure for the battered Barca finances.
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