Messi’s contract renewal under threat as Barcelona race to beat Man Utd and others to Erling Haaland

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DORTMUND, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 19: Erling Haaland of Borussia Dortmund celebrates with the fans after victory in the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and Borussia Moenchengladbach at Signal Iduna Park on September 19, 2020 in Dortmund, Germany. Fans are set to return to Bundesliga stadiums in Germany despite to the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic. Up to 20% of stadium's capacity are allowed to be filled. Final decisions are left to local health authorities and are subject to club's hygiene concepts and the infection numbers in the corresponding region. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

BARCELONA are ready to make the capture of Erling Haaland their top priority this summer — ahead of trying to keep Lionel Messi.

The Catalan giants’ president Joan Laporta is desperate to take Borussia Dortmund star Haaland to the Nou Camp, despite the club being saddled with debts over £1BILLION.

They had earmarked £109million and want to make the 20-year-old striker the main player to build their future around.

They see that as more important at this moment than getting Messi, who turns 34 next month, tied down to a new contract.

Messi’s current deal runs out at the end of this season and though talks have started between him and the club, resolving his future is not seen as the most pressing task.

Going all out for Haaland is, because Laporta feels the Norwegian is the player who can become the next main man at Barca once Messi’s illustrious career comes to a close.

A source told SunSport: “Haaland is the future, Messi is almost the past.”

Several clubs have been put off trying to sign Haaland this summer either by the £150m Dortmund valuation or the fact money is tight due to the pandemic.

Laporta knows the club may never get a free run at him in the future.

There he is doing everything possible to find a deal which would persuade the Bundesliga club to sell.

So Messi may have to sacrifice as much as half his current wages if he wants to extend his stay at Barca, as the club look to make savings and come up with the cash to make a Haaland bid work.

Lionel Messi

Although debts are spiralling at the Nou Camp, the fee for Haaland could be spread over the period of any contract, which could be up to five years, so getting the credit for a transfer like that should not be a problem.

But initial contact between the clubs has left Barca in no doubt they will have to find more than the initial figure they proposed.

The Sun (uk)

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