'Barca are back': Joan Laporta makes big claim amidst rising speculation over Erling Haaland's signing
Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland had earlier sparked excitement among fans for reportedly saying that he 'will play in Spain'.
Two days after Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland sparked excitement among fans for reportedly saying that he 'will play in Spain', Barcelona President Joan Laporta on Monday (January 3) made a big claim stating that the Spanish giants are 'back as big players in the market'. The Barcelona supremo refused to rule out a move to sign Haaland, adding that the club is working to build a top team, and top players are open to making the shift to Camp Nou.
Speaking after Barcelona completed the signing of Ferran Torres from Manchester City for an initial feel of 46 million pounds, with possible add-ons, President Joan Laporta said, "We're working to build a top team. Everything is possible if we do things well. And I'm sure we will."
"Top players are open to joining Barça. We're definitely recovering our status", the Barca supremo claimed.
Joan Laporta also went on to add that everybody in the world should get ready as Barcelona are back as big players in the market. "Barca are back," the club's president insisted, adding that the team are in a position to sign players during the January window after agreeing on a bank loan and restructuring some of their short-term debt, but are still not able to register new players without future departures.
The Spanish giants' financial obstacles are well-documented and have in the past sparked debate over how the La Liga side can afford to strengthen their squad. Insisting that Barcelona continue to be a benchmark, Laporta added, "You'll allow me to not to talk directly about players because it does not benefit us; all it does is increase their value. We're working to strengthen ourselves, and we are working on players."
"We have returned, wanting to do very well. It is what we do every day so that Barcelona regains the specific weight and status that it must have," the club president emphasised. Laporta added that Ferran Torres is proof that Barça continues to be a reference for the top players. "The resurgence is a reality, and the market has noticed it," the supremo stated.
Laporta's comments come after Dani Alves became the first signing of Xavi Hernandez's reign at Barcelona, with the Brazilian returning to Camp Nou after five-and-half years away. As for Erling Haaland, the strike which is enjoying a holiday in Marbella, fans had approached the superstar and questioned him over his future, to which the Dortmund striker reportedly revealed that he would be heading to La Liga. If Haaland's words are to be believed, then this comes as a major boost to both Barcelona and Real Madrid, who hold a keen interest in signing the frontman. Also, Premier League giants Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea are in the race to sign the Norwegian striker, who is the hottest prospect in the game right now. However, Barcelona is considered to be a strong favourite due to the relationship shared between President Joan Laporta and Haaland's agent Mino Raiola.
In the 2020–21 campaign, Erling Haaland played a key role in Dortmund's DFB-Pokal victory, bagged the Bundesliga Player of the Season award and also finished as the top scorer of the Champions League. There's no doubt over the 22-year-old's world-class status, as he has netted 76 goals in just 74 appearances for Dortmund since he made the switch from Red Bull Salzburg two years ago. Haaland's transfer will dominate headlines in the days to come, as will Barcelona's attempt to strengthen their squad against the backdrop of their debt and legendary Lionel Messi's move to Paris Saint-Germain early this year.