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Transfer rumours
Tuesday 9. March 2021 - 10:43

New Barcelona president Joan Laporta 'will rival Real Madrid for free agent David Alaba and Borussia Dortmund frontman Erling Ha

Barcelona's new president Joan Laporta will reportedly rival Real Madrid as he looks to sign David Alaba and Erling Haaland this summer despite the staggering figures of debt he will inherit at the club.

Laporta, who was president from 2003-2010, won a second-term on Sunday via a landslide election victory - with 54 per cent of the 55,611 votes cast.

His main priority lies in trying to keep Lionel Messi beyond this summer but Spanish outlet AS report that the 58-year-old lawyer has already met with the agent of Bayern Munich defender Alaba and is a huge fan of Borussia Dortmund forward Haaland, with a keen interest in bringing both Bundesliga-based players to Barca.

However, that is despite the club having a €1.2bn (£1bn) gross debt and €266m (£222m) of that is payable to various financial institutions by June 30 - Laporta will need to sit down with creditors to renegotiate repayments.

AS run with the headline 'The Fight Starts' in reference to Laporta targeting Alaba and Haaland in a bidding war with fierce rivals Real Madrid and his opposite number Florentino Perez.

The report details that Laporta met with Alaba's representatives, Pini Zahavi and Fali Ramadani, last Wednesday, with the lawyer maintaining a good relationship with Zahavi in particular.

The Austrian has already confirmed he will leave the Allianz Arena on a free transfer at the end of the season.

Laporta is also said to have a 'fluid relationship' with super-agent Mino Raiola, who represents Norwegian hitman Haaland.

Alaba and Haaland came up against each other at the weekend, as Bayern beat Dortmund 4-2 despite two early goals from the 20-year-old striker.

Yet as a result of the crippling levels of debt, Laporta may have to look to sell before he can buy, with Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho all linked with moves away, as well as Messi.

The paper also compares the situation to the beginning of Laporta's first tenure in charge, when he campaigned on a promise to bring David Beckham to the Nou Camp but instead the England star went to Madrid, with Barca bringing in Samuel Eto'o.

Club captain Messi was among the 55,000 members who voted in Sunday's election, with Laporta said to be his candidate of choice.

Provided by: Frank Henriksen
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