Barcelona beating Man City to Haaland transfer 'very difficult', admits Xavi

Barcelona boss Xavi has admitted that any move for Erling Haaland would be "very difficult" due to the club's current financial state, as the Borussia Dortmund star edges closer to a switch to Manchester City.

The Norway international is widely expected to leave the Bundesliga and head to the Premier League this summer, with it reported that a deal with City could be completed in the next week.

Camp Nou has also been frequently mooted as a potential next destination for the superstar talent, but Xavi has now conceded that Barca's economic situation has essentially ruled them out of the running.

What has Xavi said about Barca buying Haaland?

"It is very difficult because of the economic situation," the Spanish head coach told a press conference ahead of his side's latest La Liga outing against Celta Vigo. "I can't lie to you, that is the reality.

"I wouldn't say [it is only down to money]. I am not going to disrespect other clubs' sporting projects. We are not the only club with a good project. City have won a lot of titles and compete at the top level.

"But if what you say happens [and Barca don't sign Haaland], it would have been because of financial issues."

What is stopping Barca from moving for Haaland?

With a reported €75 million (£64m/$79m) release clause that must be triggered to capture the Leeds-born star, Barcelona already face a disadvantage with their hands tied amid limited economic movement.

The club's financial woes are well-documented, with several of their biggest players over the past year acquired on free transfers.

Even if they were to get Haaland at a cut-price deal, it is unlikely the Blaugrana would be able to fit his wages onto their bill - an issue City won't have to contend with.

Xavi says it is essential that Barca are active in the summer transfer window in order to stay competitive, but he expects a few players to leave before any other potential targets can be brought in.

"Barca have to strengthen every season, but even more so if we lose. But the financial situation is what we have. Players have to leave for signings to come in, so it is complicated," he added.

"It is one of most difficult situations in club's history, but we have to strengthen to be competitive. We will assess among everyone here at the club what we can do and go from there."

Further reading