Barcelona are reportedly in pole position to sign Erling Haaland, who is also wanted by arch-rivals Real Madrid.

Many expect Haaland to move out of Borussia Dortmund next summer, though his contract with the German club runs until 2024. Reports from Catalan media house El Nacional (via The Hard Tackle) suggest Barcelona are ahead of Real Madrid on Haaland’s preference list should he move away from Germany.

The reason for the same is that the Norwegian and his agent Mino Raiola will prioritize a move to a club which will make Haaland the central figure in their sporting project. The duo believe Barcelona can offer this to them in better measure than Real Madrid. It is worth noting that both the Blaugrana and Los Blancos need Haaland in their teams for very different reasons.

Barcelona are convinced that Erling Haaland is a differential player and are looking for formulas to face his signing. [md]

Barcelona are convinced that Erling Haaland is a differential player and are looking for formulas to face his signing. [md]

Barcelona already have three strikers in their team. However, Martin Braithwaite has struggled to perform consistently while Sergio Aguero is nearing the end of his career. The other option, Luuk de Jong, has only joined the club on a season-long loan from Sevilla and has looked quite average so far. If the early signs are anything to go by, Barcelona will not bring de Jong in on a permanent deal.

The Catalans have also tried deploying Ansu Fati and Memphis Depay as their strikers this season. However, it is well documented that both players, despite boasting good goal records, work better from wide areas. Signing Haaland would allow Barcelona to play Fati and Depay in their preferred positions, thus maximizing their attacking output.

Barcelona’s biggest issue with this deal will be the financial aspect. Though Haaland’s release clause will be activated next summer, the amount is rumored to be around €75 million. The Blaugrana’s current financial situation will likely not allow them any room to sign the 21-year-old unless they sell some of their highest earners for decent money.

Real Madrid, on the other hand, look set to create another ‘Galacticos’ team next summer. Kylian Mbappe, who was very close to signing for Los Blancos a few months ago, is likely to join the club on a free transfer next summer. If Real Madrid also manage to bring in Haaland, they will have two of the best youngsters in the world right now.

Haaland would also solve some key problems for Real Madrid. Carlo Ancelotti’s side have been heavily dependent on an aging Karim Benzema for goals this season. While Benzema still has a few more seasons left in his tank, the addition of Haaland would ease the pressure on the French forward. It would also give Real Madrid an out-and-out goalscorer for both the present and future.

Barcelona and Real Madrid target Erling Haaland has been on fire this season

Erling Haaland has started the 2021-22 season on fire. The 21-year-old has scored 11 goals and registered four assists in just eight matches this term.

⚽️ Most goals and assists combined in the Bundesliga this season:🥇 Erling Haaland – 10
🥈 Florian Wirtz – 9
🥉 Robert Lewandowski – 8

⚽️ Most goals and assists combined in the Bundesliga this season:🥇 Erling Haaland – 10
🥈 Florian Wirtz – 9
🥉 Robert Lewandowski – 8
https://t.co/3qmVDUtBcz

Overall, Haaland has a barely-believable 68 goals and 19 assists in just 67 matches for Borussia Dortmund. He’s also scored 12 goals in 15 matches for the Norwegian national team and is certainly the real deal when it comes to goalscoring.

With the activation of his release clause next summer, several clubs are bound to line up for Haaland’s services. The report from El Nacional has stated that PSG and Manchester City are also potential destinations for the striker alongside Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Edited by Sankalp Srivastava

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