Erling Haaland’s superagent Mino Raiola and his father Alf-Inge Haaland have arrived in Barcelona and were both spotted being picked up by Barca president Joan Laporta’s assistant at the airport this morning amid speculation the prolific Borussia Dortmund striker and current hottest in-demand player in the world could join the Catalan giants this summer.
Haaland is now the latest most sought-after player in Europe, having scored 49 goals in as many games since arriving from RB Salzburg last January, with Real Madrid, Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea among the elite clubs all eager to secure his signature.
But at this early juncture Barcelona’s new president Joan Laporta seems to have stolen a march on his competitors with the player’s Dad and agent already in Barcelona for talks over the purported £154million move. And Laporta has already long proven himself to be a man of credibility and stature even in the past during his tenure as president, having been synonymous with the heydays of Barca glory at its best. Clearly someone who delivers what he promises and strives for. Which is what the Blaugrana are urgently in need of now.
The arrival of Alf-Inge Haaland and Mino Raiola coincides with the report that the hierarchy at Borussia Dortmund allegedly interpreted Raiola’s comments on Haaland this week as a ‘declaration of war’ on the Bundesliga club.
The superagent had blatantly admitted he had been ‘maybe too careful’ in facilitating a move to Dortmund from RB Salzburg for Haaland last year instead of Manchester United, and used the phrase: ‘Oh no, let’s move to Dortmund instead’ – which was taken as an offensive affront by Dortmund.
The Bundesliga club has reacted angrily to Raiola’s comments, with German outlet Sport 1 saying the club’s hierarchy see it as a ‘declaration of war’ as Raiola ‘plays poker’ for big stakes in the Norwegian’s next big deal.
Speaking to The Athletic, Raiola had said in full:
“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.”