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Why Barcelona are unlikely to compete with Real Madrid for Erling Haaland

Source The Ghana Report

Barcelona are unlikely to be able to challenge Real Madrid for the signing of Manchester City striker Erling Haaland at any point over the next few years, 90min understands.

Haaland has been linked with an exit by the Spanish press in recent weeks, though his contract at City runs until 2027 and the club are already preparing an offer of fresh terms.

While the media in Madrid have billed City’s upcoming Champions League quarter-final with Los Blancos as a potential audition and shot at vindication for Haaland, reports from Catalonia have claimed the 23-year-old will be the subject of a fresh approach from Barcelona in 2025.

However, 90min understands the finances behind such a deal make this unlikely, while even if Barca were able to stump up the requisite money, they would almost certainly lose out to Madrid if they made a move for Haaland as well.

Haaland’s future could be tied to Guardiola / Michael Regan/GettyImages

If Haaland were to leave City at some point, it’s understood his preferred destination would be Madrid. In addition to the club’s sheer size and reputation, the striker also recognises they are a stable team in the long-term, with Kylian Mbappe expected to join a youthful core already featuring the likes of Jude Bellingham, Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo, Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni this summer.

The Norwegian’s current complex contract with City already includes various release clauses and options, meaning his value is not necessarily preserved by the length of it. A £150m release clause was due to become active in the summer of 2024, but this was linked to Pep Guardiola’s future and subsequently voided when the manager penned a new deal running to 2025 in November 2022.

Haaland’s agent, Rafaela Pimenta, has made no secret of her desire to ensure the forward has as much control of his own destiny as possible. Any new contract with City would still contain release clauses designed at pre-empting and predicting the market, while there may also be triggers dependent again on Guardiola’s future or even based on football repercussions should the club receive punishment from the Premier League for an alleged 115 breaches of Financial Fair Play rules.

There are still several other clauses in Haaland’s contract which could yet be activated and see him leave for less than this previous £150m figure, potentially even closer to £100m. But sources have told 90min Haaland is committed to City despite him recently teasing his future in public and creating doubt over his long-term plans.

When asked about speculation over a move to Madrid, Haaland replied: “I am really happy, especially with the people I am surrounded with. The manager, the directors, the board… they are a group of amazing people and I’m really happy, I have to say.

“If I say this now, it’s probably going to be a massive headline…tomorrow you never know what the future brings. But again, I’m happy. You can write this but you will also have to write everything I said right before. I’m happy.”

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