Liverpool boost as strange 'Erling Haaland plan' may block Arteta and co from huge job

Erling Haaland has been linked with a move from Manchester City. (Image: Getty)

Liverpool could be the big winners if Barcelona pull off their ambitious plan to sign Erling Haaland in the summer. The Catalan giants were rocked in January when current manager Xavi announced this season would represent his last in charge at the Nou Camp, just months after leading Barca to the La Liga title.

But since that development, the club have enjoyed an upturn in form, unbeaten in nine league games to move second in the table and progressing into the last-eight of the Champions League. And Barcelona chiefs are now desperate to persuade the 44-year-old to perform a u-turn, with club president Rafa Yuste publicly saying he views him as the man to lead a “one-term project.”

And according to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, the club will now go all out to snare Haaland from Manchester City in a bid to keep Xavi in charge. With Robert Lewandowski soon to turn 36, the Norwegian striker is reportedly seen as the perfect replacement by Barcelona bosses, having previously been prolific in both Germany and England.

The knock-on affect of that sensational switch would ultimately boost these at Anfield. With Jurgen Klopp departing in the summer, the Reds are being heavily linked with Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi and Sporting CP manager Ruben Amorim as they search for a replacement.

Barcelona bosses want Xavi to do a u-turn on his decision to leave this summer. (Image: Getty)

That follows no.1 target Xabi Alonso committing his future to Bayer Leverkusen for another season. But Barcelona themselves are also reportedly tracking De Zerbi, whose chances of being offered one of the top jobs in Spain now appears dependent on Xavi’s next move.

Should the club icon decide to stay in charge, it would clear the way for the Reds to be more aggressive with their approach for De Zerbi. The Italian has also been linked with Manchester United, but that speculation appears tenuous given Erik ten Hag remains in position at Old Trafford.

The situation is also significant to Arsenal, who are currently battling Liverpool and City for the Premier League title. Mikel Arteta’s team are expected to challenge again next season regardless of the outcome in 2024/25, but the Spaniard himself is rumoured to be on Barca’s radar.

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Whether the current Premier League champions will be prepared to negotiate over Haaland though remains to be seen. The 23-year-old has scored a staggering 81 goals in 88 games for City, and despite being criticised in this campaign is still the league’s top scorer with 18 goals.

He currently contracted at the Etihad until June 2027. However, the man himself did cast doubt on his future last month, saying “you never know what the future brings” when asked if he intended to stay in England long-term.

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1884048/Liverpool-Barcelona-Erling-Haaland-Arteta-Xavi