Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Erling Haaland leaves Man City in distress as Barcelona create cunning plan to sign striker

Barcelona are preparing to compete for the signing of Erling Haaland from Manchester City, according to a report – but not next year.

Haaland enjoyed a thrilling debut season with Man City, winning the treble, and is likely to continue attracting interest while he maintains his sensational form. It has long been presumed that his next step, when the time comes, might be to go to Real Madrid.

But now their El Clasico rivals have been thrown into the mix by a report on 90min. The website claims Barcelona are aiming to be able to compete for Haaland’s signature in 2025.

By then, unless Haaland has updated his Man City contract, there could be a release clause active that would enable him to leave for €175m (about £151m at the time of writing, but obviously exchange rates could change).

Therefore, after the end of next season, there could be a scramble for Haaland’s signature by some of the world’s most powerful clubs.

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Barcelona have been dealing with some financial issues in recent years, which is why they might need to start planning how to fund a bid for Haaland now, even if the best part of two years remain before they would be making their move.

Despite relations between the clubs not seemingly being what they once were, moving from Man City to Barcelona has become a common transfer pathway in recent years. This summer, Ilkay Gundogan took that step on a free transfer, as did Joao Cancelo on loan.

Ferran Torres is also still on the books in Xavi’s squad, while they sent Eric Garcia out on loan to Girona this summer.

Barcelona see Haaland as Lewandowski replacement

Haaland would be a high-profile capture for whoever can get their hands on him next. His goals-to-games ratios with Red Bull Salzburg, Borussia Dortmund and now Man City have all been magnificent.

Therefore, Barcelona have identified him as someone with suitable pedigree to take over from Robert Lewandowski in the centre-forward role. By the time they want to make their approach for Haaland, Lewandowski will be approaching his 37th birthday.

The Poland international remains a strong option himself for the time being, but the timelines might match up for Haaland to step into his shoes if Barcelona can ultimately afford him.

Man City, though, will try to keep Haaland by renewing his contract, which is currently due to expire in 2027. By doing so, they would be aiming to remove the release clauses in his contract as well.

Even if no one meets the €175m fee in 2025, there will be other clauses in his contract that would enable him to leave for a lower fee the closer he got to the end of his deal.

It should therefore be a priority for Man City to do what they can to secure Haaland’s commitment for the long term, no matter how much that might mean paying him in terms of a salary.