One major issue that has affected FC Barcelona this season, is their ability to convert chances. Despite creating many opportunities to score, the blaugranas have consistently failed to capitalize on these. It is clear that Barcelona are missing that key piece – the number ‘9’, or as they say, the ‘target man’. Therefore, it is currently the aim for Joan Laporta and co, to look out for a number ‘9’ this summer. In this article, I will be updating you on the progression of this aim.
According to reliable reports in Catalonia, Erling Haaland remains the ultimate target for Joan Laporta. The young Norwegian striker is one of the most sought out players in Europe. Every club is craving the desire and passion that this player offers. Thus far, no major movements have been made regarding this transfer. However, last week- following an exclusive from Catalan newspaper SPORT- Alfie Haaland and Mino Raiola were spotted in Barcelona. They met with Laporta to discuss the current project, the prospect of the player, and the role that Halaand would have at the club. The trip did not end here, as Raiola was later seen in the Spanish capital. There he met with Madrid personnel to deliver the same ideas that he shared with Laporta. According to Fabrizio Romano, Raiola and Alfie Haaland will also travel to London and Manchester to meet with other clubs.
Many clubs are interested as we can see. One could expect that if any attempts will be made this summer, a wage war will be ignited. Borussia Dortmund are reportedly asking for 150m euros for this transfer, a figure so heavy for clubs in the pandemic era. If clubs are smart, they should rule out Haaland for the summer, as his release clause will be 75M in 2022. This of course, depends on Borussia Dortmund and how they do this season. If they fail to qualify for the Champions League, I can very much see Haaland forcing a move out.
Another player strongly linked with a move to Barcelona this summer is Memphis Depay. Ronald Koeman is a huge fan of this player, considering that they both worked together in the Dutch National team. Depay is not a natural ‘9’. However, Koeman built a system around him as a striker while coaching him in the Netherlands NT.
This really maximized his potential. The Dutch coach is repeatedly calling for his signing according to reliable reports; he is in love with the player. As we can remember, this is not the first time that Depay has been linked to the club. In August, the club were attempting to fulfill Koeman’s wishes and actively pursued the signing. However, because of financial constraint, the signing fell through, leaving both the player and the manager upset. Depay is free this summer, so if the club will make a move, they must sell in order to accommodate his wages.
While Koeman favors the signing of Depay over Aguero, reliable reports suggest that the board disagrees. According to Gabriel Sans from Mundo Deportivo, the only person in favour of Depay’s signing is Koeman himself. Instead, the board prefers Sergio Aguero. Laporta is a fan of the player, and has already been in contact with his agents in order to sound out a possible move.
It is known that Aguero is leaving Manchester City at the end of the season, after ten years. The player is 32 years of age now, and will likely demand hefty wages. This all has to be taken into account when signing an elite striker, as the danger of injury is ever present surrounding the Argentinian Maestro. We will see how things progress in coming months, but one thing is for sure. If Lionel Messi renews and asks for Aguero’s signature, no surprise is there if Laporta pursues it. After all, the happiness of Messi is the ultimate goal.
Alongside these three players, reports are suggesting that Barça could pursue other deals. Names such as Romelo Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez and even Harry Kane have been suggested. However, there is nothing advanced regarding these deals. Despite this, I am sure that Laporta and his board will be keeping an eye on the players’ latest movements. After all, the transfer market is very unpredictable, and is full of opportunity. You can never completely rule out a player until the last minute of the window; anything is possible. Keep an eye on the market this summer, I am sure you will not be disappointed.