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Laporta asked about future Barcelona interest in Haaland & possible €80m transfer raid on Man City for Bernardo Silva

18:05 GMT+3 05/01/2023
Erling Haaland Manchester City 2022-23
Joan Laporta has been quizzed on whether Erling Haaland could emerge as a transfer target again for Barcelona at some point in the future.
  • Norwegian striker joined City in 2022
  • May not hang around at the Etihad
  • Blaugrana drawing up recruitment plans

WHAT HAPPENED? Camp Nou had been mooted as one possible landing spot for the prolific Norwegian striker when he prepared to sever ties with Borussia Dortmund in 2022, as leading sides from across Europe battled it out to secure a prized signature. Premier League champions Manchester City eventually won that race when putting a £51 million ($61m) deal in place, and have seen Haaland register 27 goals for them through 21 appearances, but there have been admissions that the 22-year-old may not hang around in England for long and that a new challenge in a different country could be sought at some stage.

WHAT THEY SAID: Barcelona would be expected to come back into the mix if Haaland were to become available again, but Laporta has told Cadena Ser when asked about possible interest: “With Haaland we'll see how he does at City. We currently have [Robert] Lewandowski.”

While remaining coy on one current City star, Laporta was eager to point out that talk of a big-money move being made for a Portugal international playmaker at the Etihad Stadium is wide of the mark. He added: “We won't pay 80 million for Bernardo Silva. That is for sure.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Laporta was also asked about Barca’s long-term plans for replacing World Cup-winning midfielder Sergio Busquets, as his contract runs down towards free agency, with the Blaugrana president saying: “Ruben Neves is a great player, but this is part of private conversations. Busquets will not be eternal and there are internal discussions to find a guaranteed successor for him. Frenkie de Jong can play in this position, but it won't be down to just one player. Xavi will decide.”

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT? Barcelona have endured serious financial issues over recent years, which led to Lionel Messi leaving them for Paris Saint-Germain as a free agent in 2021, and there is still a need to balance the books in Catalunya before more big-money transfer deals can be considered.