Gossip: Barcelona ‘position themselves’ for huge Haaland signing as Juve ponder sacking Pogba

Jason Soutar
Erling Haaland and Robert Lewandowski are attacked by sprinklers.
Erling Haaland and Robert Lewandowski are attacked by sprinklers.

Barcelona are beginning to ‘manoeuvre themselves’ to land Manchester City striker Erling Haaland…in 2025. There are also bits on poor ol’ Paul Pogba and Chelsea defender Trevoh Chalobah.

 

ARE YOU HAAVING A LAUGH?
These days, any Barcelona transfer story brings a little chuckle as we ponder how they are going to afford the player in question. Erling Haaland is certainly no exception with his eventual Manchester City exit expected to be triggered by a release clause, not a bidding war or negotiation of any kind with the European champions.

Nobody really knows if Haaland has a release clause in his contract at this moment in time, if he will have one at the end of this season, the end of the season after, or at all. Even though City landed the Nordic robot for only a £51million transfer fee, you cannot imagine Pep Guardiola agreed to a similar clause, especially when Borussia Dortmund can be classed as a stepping stone in a player’s career, not City, even if Real Madrid or Barcelona is the end goal.

And a report from 90min says Barcelona are ‘positioning themselves’ to land Haaland in 2025 when a release clause in his Cityzens contract becomes active. The report concedes that Real Madrid has always looked like Haaland’s next destination and Guardiola’s side are trying to tie the striker down to a new contract, despite signing a five-year deal when he joined last summer.

Haaland – who actually has zero real goals for City – will have a £150m (€175m) release clause in two years’ time, the report notes, and Barca are looking to ‘manoeuvre’ a way to the front of the queue. Do they realise they cannot pay a buyout clause over twenty years?

Even though the Blaugrana have some financial troubles, they reckon they will sort themselves out within the next two years and can beat Madrid for the 23-year-old’s signature.

 

THE POGBA FALLOUT
Paul Pogba is certainly a footballer who divides opinion and after joining Juventus on a free transfer for the second time in his career, he has barely kicked a ball. He played ten times across all competitions last season, making one starting XI as he battled meniscal, knee, groin, abductor, and hamstring injuries.

He has been included in all three matchday squads to start the new season, coming off the bench twice, which should be viewed as a positive. However, positives are the last thing the Frenchman wants more of as he is expected to be given a massive ban after a drug test found an elevated amount of testosterone in his system.

A report from Gazzetta says Pogba was recommended the drug by a friend in the United States and it was not approved by Juventus, who had no clue their midfielder was taking testosterone supplements. The rules in the USA are different from Italy and there is a belief that Pogba had no clue they were not allowed in the country of his employment. While you have some sympathy for him, this is a big boo-boo on his part.

Especially so as Juventus now have grounds to terminate his contract, the report says. His deal is big and expensive, meaning the Old Lady will probably be very happy to do so. Love him or hate him, Pogba has had some rotten luck in recent years.

OPINION: Paul Pogba might never play football again; like Neymar, his legacy is ‘what if?’

 

CHALOBAH-BYE
It looks like Chelsea are hoping to cash in on Trevoh Chalobah, who as a product of their youth academy, can be sold for what is classed as ‘pure profit’, the same as Lewis Hall, who joined Newcastle United in the summer.

There was talk of a move to Bayern Munich and Nottingham Forest (tough choice there) on deadline day but the English defender stayed at Stamford Bridge to fight for his place under Mauricio Pochettino.

Forest’s interest has been widely reported and there was talk of a bid late on in the summer transfer window, which has been confirmed by Fabrizio Romano.

The Italian journalist says Chalobah ‘rejected’ the Reds as he wants to play for Chelsea but it is noted that he is ‘expected to leave’ the club in January.