The veteran Barcelona defender has had his say on which of the two young superstars he would rather sign with the futures of both likely to be decided in this summer transfer window
Barcelona defender Dani Alves has explained why he would push the boat out to sign Kylian Mbappe but not Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland.
The experienced Brazilian defender became the first signing of coach Xavi Hernandez at Camp Nou and the right-back was one of a quartet of January arrivals who have transformed Xavi’s Barcelona – the club are undefeated in La Liga since early December. After signing Alves, Barca completed the signing of Ferran Torres from Manchester City and then secured the loan signing of La Masia graduate Adama Traore from Wolves before clinching the signing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Alves is often outspoken in his views on multiple subjects and he has now explained why he would much prefer to have Mbappe in his side than Haaland – the two standout young strikers in world football. Both players have been linked with moves to Europe’s biggest clubs, with Barca thought to be among the admirers of both.
Mbappe has reportedly reached an agreement to join Barca’s El Clasico rivals Real Madrid this summer – the Spanish giants have had a long-running interest in the Frenchman. Mbappe is out of contract at Paris Saint-Germain this summer and he has recently hinted at a move to Real Madrid while a recent interview suggested that he is open to leaving France.
Haaland has also been linked with a move to the Camp Nou and last month, Xavi headed a club delegation flying out to Germany to hold a meeting with the striker – as they attempt to trump rival clubs to his signature. The Catalan club held a meeting with the player’s agent Mino Raiola in December while Dortmund recently confirmed that Real Madrid are among those who are interested in signing the Norwegian.
The Norwegian striker fuelled speculation of a transfer to La Liga in January as he confirmed that he would like to play in Spain during his career. Barca president Laporta’s reported confidence in signing the striker has sparked off what has been described as a ‘war’ between the club and El Clasico rivals Madrid.
Haaland has a reported £63million release clause that kicks in at Dortmund this summer – which has put a series of top European clubs on alert. The two La Liga giants are among those who have been strongest linked for the Norwegian, with Manchester City also among the clubs monitoring his situation.
Xavi expressed his confidence in a deal to sign Haaland to reporters earlier in March: “It always seems like a good time to sign for Barça. It is the best club in the world. There is no footballer who has said no to Barça since I have come here.” However, Alves has now suggested why the club should not go down that route.
Alves told an interview with Catalan media outlet Diario Sport : “I would not throw everything at Haaland. Sincerely, I wouldn’t spend a lot of money on him. On Mbappe, yes, but Haaland no.
“I’m playing at sporting director here, but I’d bet on Mbappe first. He seems more complete in every aspect. If you are going to make a huge investment, you have to do it on the best. If it was up to me, I’d bet on Mbappe.”
The futures of both Mbappe and Haaland are worth keeping an eye on with both of the superstars likely to be on the move in the near future with this summer transfer window very possibly proving to be decisive in the transfer market.