Barcelona Target Milan Star as Erling Haaland Alternative

Barcelona have reportedly identified Milan rising star Rafael Leao as a potential alternative for their pursuit of Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland. According to Spanish news outlet Marca, the Catalans could be priced out of a move for the Norwegian scoring machine due to the club’s financial turmoil. 

Barcelona are amongst the long-term admirers of Haaland, who will sever ties with the Signal Iduna Park when a €80m release clause comes into effect this summer. However, the Blaugrana director Mateu Alemany played down Barca’s quest to land the 21-year-old in his latest interview with The Sun.

Pierre Emerick Aubameyang will be Barcelona’s number 9 next season,” he said. “We are more than happy with Auba and his performances.

Alemany’s words have effectively ruled Barcelona out of the race for Haaland. A lack of funds is believed to be the main reason behind the Spaniards’ decision to drop their interest in one of the deadliest young strikers on the planet. 

Instead of splashing out high figures on Haaland, Barcelona could redirect their attention towards in-form Milan starlet Leao. The 22-year-old has gone from strength to strength this season, establishing himself as one of the best-performing attackers in Serie A.

Leao has played a prominent role in helping Milan reach the Serie A summit, tallying nine goals and four assists from 29 league appearances. The Rossoneri are already working around the clock to tie their standout youngster down to a new contract. But Barcelona’s potential interest could affect talks.

Milan reportedly value Leao at around €50m. Yet, the price tag could go up should he sign an extension. The Portugal international has two years remaining on his current contract, but the Italians remain hopeful of getting the deal over the line.