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HomeSportsFootballBarcelona identify Xavi favourite as one alternative for 21-year-old high priority target

Barcelona identify Xavi favourite as one alternative for 21-year-old high priority target

FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta has set his sights on Erling Braut Haaland and is desperate to win the race to sign him in the summer. The Norwegian striker is expected to leave Borussia Dortmund at the end of the current campaign and is wanted by a number of top European clubs.

Barcelona’s arch rivals Real Madrid have been touted as the favourites to land the Dortmund hitman. Premier League giants Manchester City and Manchester United have also shown keen interest to sign Haaland in the summer, when he will be available for a bargain £64 million.

The Catalan giants’ financial troubles are no secret, and that could hamper their chances while going up against Real and the Manchester clubs. Laporta is certain Haaland can help the club on and off the pitch, but is making alternate plans in the event that they fail to sign the free scoring forward.

According to Spanish publication Sport, Barcelona are monitoring a number of other targets, and will move for two players if they fail to sign Haaland. Real Sociedad striker Alexander Isak and Sevilla’s Jules Kounde are top of their wanted list as alternatives for the Norway international.


Jules Kounde (L) has been linked with a move to Chelsea in the summer
CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP

Barcelona have been long-term admirers of Isak and even tried signing the Sweden international last summer. The 22-year-old joined Sociedad from Dortmund in 2019 for a fee worth £13.5 million, but as Arsenal found out in January, he will only be allowed to leave the La Liga club if interested suitors meet his £75 million release clause.

Similarly, Kounde was also a player in high demand last summer, with Chelsea coming close to signing him from Sevilla. While the Blues still maintain an interest in the player, Xavi is now pushing Barcelona to enter the race. The Spaniard is keen to bring the French centre-back to the Camp Nou in the summer.

However, interested clubs will have to meet the Spanish outfit’s asking price which is said to again be around the £70 million mark. It was their hefty demands that saw Chelsea walk away from the deal last summer, and it is again likely to pose a problem for cash-strapped Barcelona if they pursue a move this summer.

Alexander Isak
Alexander Isak (C) scored a brilliant goal for Sweden
Erik SIMANDER/TT NEWS AGENCY
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