Erling Haaland in fresh Barcelona claim as Man United could hand Man City transfer blow

Erling Haaland
-Credit: (Image: Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Barcelona are reportedly targeting Erling Haaland to fill the gap left by Lionel Messi.

The 23-year-old's future has been a topic of speculation in recent weeks, following a sensational second campaign for City. He scored 38 goals and provided six assists in 45 games across all competitions last term.

In his short time in Manchester, he has won two Premier League winners' medals, two Golden Boots, a host of individual awards, and the Champions League title in 2023. Even though his agent, Rafaela Pimenta, emphasised his 1000 percent commitment to City's project, Haaland continues to be linked with a move away from the Etihad.

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According to Football Transfers, Barca are plotting an ambitious project over the next three years to attract elite stars like Haaland to Camp Nou. The Spanish side have struggled financially in recent years, which has forced them to work on a strict budget as they bid to keep pace with rivals Real Madrid.

The report adds that a lucrative kit deal with Nike will help their financial issues, as they are expected to pull in £127million (€150m) per season. This will help attract Haaland with Barca reported to see him as an ideal candidate to fill the gap left by Messi in 2021.

Arsenal's William Saliba is also being mentioned as a long-term solution to the club's defensive frailties.

Elsewhere, City-linked Christos Mandas could be headed to Old Trafford instead. The Lazio goalkeeper has caught the eye of Premier League teams, with Leicester City also credited with an interest.

Third choice at Lazio, there is a possibility he will depart the Italian side this summer in search for regular game time. According to Corriere dello Sport, City representatives are said to have already approached Lazio over Mandas.

However, a new report by the Express claims that Lazio are set to get creative in their bid to try and sign Mason Greenwood by offering Mandas as part of the deal. Greenwood is almost certain to leave Old Trafford permanently this summer.

The Serie A outfit have already been in talks for Greenwood in an attempt to beat off competition, but have seen an initial bid rejected. The Express add that they are readying a new approach, which would be to offer £15m and the goalkeeper Mandas.

City, meanwhile, are said to have identified the Greece international to improve competition between the sticks. As for United, a new goalkeeper isn't thought to be among Erik ten Hag's priorities for the new season, and the club would rather receive the £40m for Greenwood.