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Barcelona line up 20-year old superstar as Lionel Messi's successor - Reports

Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
ANALYST
Modified 28 Mar 2021
Rumors

Barcelona are reportedly eyeing up a move for Borussia Dortmund superstar Erling Haaland if Lionel Messi decides not to extend his contract at the club.

The Argentine is in the final few months of his contract and is free to negotiate with foreign clubs over a summer move.

Lionel Messi requested Barcelona to let him leave the club last summer, but was denied by the club's higher-ups. This left the forward disgruntled going into the season and reflected in his performances for the club.

Now, however, Messi seems to be enjoying his time at the club as Barcelona chase after the La Liga title.

According to AS, Barcelona president Joan Laporta has decided to make extending Lionel Messi's contract the number one priority between now and the end of the season.

But if the Argentine decides to part ways with the Catalan giants, Laporta is ready to pursue Borussia Dortmund hitman Erling Haaland.

The Norwegian has been in extraordinary form since joining Dortmund last January and is considered to be one of the best strikers in the world.

Laporta sees Haaland as the heir to Lionel Messi at the club and is ready to pull the trigger on a deal only if the Argentine leaves in the summer.

The report also states that even though they will keep tabs on Haaland, Barcelona will pursue Lyon's Memphis Depay more actively if Messi does decide to stay.

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Haaland has been immense for Borussia Dortmund this season. The striker has scored 32 goals in 29 games across all competitions for the German side, including 10 goals in the UEFA Champions League.

If Haaland is to leave Dortmund in the summer, it would reportedly cost Barcelona around €150 million.

Barcelona and Lionel Messi in for a massively important summer

Ronald Koeman is looking ahead to the summer
Ronald Koeman is looking ahead to the summer

Whether Lionel Messi decides to stay or not, Barcelona will have a huge task ahead of them in the summer. Ronald Koeman is reportedly ready to part ways with a number of big names in order to begin rebuilding the club.

The Blaugrana are looking to build around their youth academy graduates, in an attempt not to have to spend big in the summer.

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Barcelona are currently massively in debt due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and would prefer to start building their squad around the likes of Ansu Fati, Pedri and Ilaix Moriba.

This could mean departures for players like Philippe Coutinho, Miralem Pjanic and Antoine Griezmann as the club looks to boost their finances in the summer.

Published 28 Mar 2021, 17:07 IST
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