Barcelona reportedly ready to sacrifice Messi in favor of Erling Haaland pursuit

Barcelona are one of several European heavyweights eyeing a move for Dortmund sensation Erling Braut Haaland. However, given the demand for the Norwegian sensation, the Blaugrana will have to pay big to pry him away from the Signal Iduna Park.

Regardless, the Catalan giants are willing to do whatever it takes to bring the 20-year-old to the Camp Nou. According to the Sun, Joan Laporta will have to make a huge sacrifice in order to pursue the former RB Salzburg sensation and that "sacrifice" will come in the form of Lionel Messi's contract talks.

One of Laporta's biggest promises during his presidential run was to exhaust every single option in order to extend the Argentine's contract, which is set to expire this summer. The six-time Ballon d'Or winner had tried to leave last summer after growing frustrated with the sporting project at Barcelona, with many pleading with the attacker to remain in Catalonia.

Laporta is said to have begun talks with Leo's agent and has held positive negotiations. However, given the huge financial crisis the Spanish giants find themselves under, the president cannot actively pursue an extension for Messi, who will turn 34 later this year, and a deal for Erling Haaland.

As a result, the club president will prioritize a $154M pursuit of Haaland over Messi's deal, with SunSport claiming one source said : "Haaland is the future, Messi is almost the past." La Pulga will likely need to accept a tremendous wage cut in order for the club to launch a respectable bid for the Norwegian talent. Whether this could result in Leo's departure from the Camp Nou remains uncertain.

Barcelona's interest in Haaland, however, is clear as day. With 38 goals in 41 Bundesliga appearances and 20 strikes in 16 UEFA Champions League outing, Erling is seen as the future of football. This lines up perfectly for the Blaugrana as they are in need of a natural no.9, having failed to replace Luis Suarez.

Given the financial crisis brought upon the footballing world by the COVID-19 pandemic, many of Haaland's suitors might opt against a move this summer. Barcelona are keen on capitalizing off of this as they might not get a free run at him again. 

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