Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Barcelona suffer hammer blow in pursuit of Man City superstar as Real Madrid preference is revealed

Ben Stewart
Barcelona and Real Madrid are keeping tabs on Erling Haaland

Barcelona and Real Madrid are keeping tabs on Erling Haaland

Barcelona have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Manchester City forward Erling Haaland as his Real Madrid preference has been revealed.

Despite missing a chunk of this season through injury, Haaland still ranks among the top scorers in Europe. The 23-year-old has scored 29 goals across all competitions and is averaging a goal every 101 minutes.

While the prolific forward is under contract at Man City until 2027, there is plenty of speculation surrounding his long-term future at the club.

It’s no secret that the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid have each held a long-term interest in the striker and a move to La Liga could tempt Haaland in the future.

With Robert Lewandowski not getting any younger, Barcelona have been tipped to chase Haaland in 2025. However, they have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of the Man City superstar.

According to 90min, Haaland moving to Barcelona in 2025 is ‘unlikely’ at this stage because of the finances involved in the deal. The report also states that Real Madrid would be Haaland’s ‘preferred destination’ over Barcelona.

With a switch to Camp Nou looking increasingly unlikely for Haaland, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise to see Barcelona move on to alternative targets in the coming weeks.

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Haaland is happy at Man City for the time being

While the lure of Barcelona and Real Madrid is obvious, Haaland seems content to stick around in the Premier League for the time being.

When asked about the speculation surrounding his future, he told reporters: “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.”

The future of Haaland could hinge on whether Man City are found guilty of the 115 breaches of the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability Rules.

If the club is found guilty of those breaches, some of their top earners could look to go elsewhere as the club faces the possibility of being heavily penalised.

Pep Guardiola seems released when it comes to Haaland as he was quick to brush off the reports that linked the forward with Real Madrid.

“I don’t know, you have to ask the media from Madrid,” Guardiola said when asked if the report was published to unsettle Haaland. “Maybe they have more info than we have.

“We don’t have that feeling that he’s unhappy. He was [unhappy] because he could not play for two months because he was injured but maybe the media from Spain, and especially Madrid, have more information than us.

“We cannot say he didn’t adapt quickly [on joining in summer 2022] and he was not fine since he arrived. But we cannot control what people say.

“What’s important is that he’s happy. And when he’s unhappy, he will make his decision.”

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