- “I categorically deny that we have negotiated with a player with a contract because we do it with the clubs,” said the president at an act of supporter’s clubs in Orihuela
Joan Laporta, upon his arrival at a supporter’s club event in Orihuela (Alicante), wanted to clarify to the media present that FC Barcelona had not negotiated with Erling Haaland, a 21-year-old Norwegian striker who has a contract with Borussia Dortmund until 2024. His explanation came hours after Xavi Hernández did not deny information from L’Esportiu at a press conference indicating that the coach met with the striker on Tuesday in Munich.
“At Barcelona we don’t negotiate with the player, when we have to negotiate, we will do it with Borussia Dortmund if the circumstance arises. Xavi hasn’t denied it? Well, I categorically deny it. If we negotiate, we would do it with Borussia Dortmund. We are working on many players who can improve the squad next season according to what the coach, the director of football and the technical secretary say. We are working and planning, but nothing to negotiate with players. Neither meeting nor negotiation nor nothing,” he explained.
The Barcelona president added that “I don’t want to talk about players because anything we say would raise the price and it would be absurd to retransmit the process of signing a player that we may or may not be interested in, that’s why I’m not going to talk about specific players, but I can to say that we have not negotiated with any player, I know who is in charge of the negotiations, and less with players who have a contract, we negotiate with clubs. With Raiola? I have a good relationship with Mino, but we both know that first we have to talk to his club”.
He did clarify, regarding that possible meeting between Xavi and Haaland or with other players, that “I am convinced that conversations can be held between athletes, they can talk about football, which is what they know, and coming to Barcelona is attractive because the team is under construction and they fall in love because there are very young players, with a lot of talent, who have a present and a future, but the economic issues are valued by other people in the club. Pablo Torre? He will stay at Racing until the end of the season and for next season he will come to Barça. He is signed, yes. Any reinforcement has the approval of the coach”
He did not reply to the former technician
“Koeman had courage”
He was also asked about the statements of Ronald Koeman, who lamented that Laporta did not give him the time he has given Xavi: “Ronald Koeman is a hero of Barcelona, I remember him at Wembley-92 scoring the goal of the first Cup of Europe of Barcelona and then I remember him as the coach of the first team who had the courage to bring up very young players and the circumstances made him not continue, I’m not going to go into other things”.