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Barcelona won’t repeat Beckham mistake with Haaland as presidential hopeful Font rules out Neymar return

09:00 GMT 17/12/2020
Erling Haaland David Beckham
Victor Font says his campaign will not be built on wild recruitment vows, but he is still keen on tying Lionel Messi to a new contract

Barcelona presidential hopeful Victor Font has told Goal that he will not be repeating the mistakes of previous candidates by making bold transfer promises amid links with Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland.

It has been suggested that the Blaugrana could enter a scramble for the talented Norwegian frontman if an exit door were to be swung open in Germany.

Barca, though, do not boast the funds required to make such an elaborate signing and are eager to avoid offering false hope.

Back in 2003, as Joan Laporta prepared to take office at Camp Nou, an incoming president said he would be snapping up David Beckham from Manchester United, only to then see the England captain head to arch-rivals Real Madrid.

Font will not be doing the same with Haaland, telling Goal: “It’s campaign time so it's normal to hear about popular names but the supporters are smart and know for the first time in history it is not about promising an astonishing name, as happened with Beckham in 2003.

“Now we must generate interest from other angles, there's a new generation who deserve responsibility and the right conditions for decisions to be taken.”

Another player to have been heavily linked with a switch to Barcelona in the recent past is Brazil international Neymar , with a return to La Liga mooted for the South American ever since he completed a record-breaking transfer to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017.

Font remains a big fan of the 28-year-old forward, but cannot see him back in Catalunya.

He added: “I love him as a player, I enjoy him because is pure talent but we must be realistic.

“From now on the club will have strong leadership. In addition, the club is how it is in a financial aspect and he probably wants a competitive salary - we can't pay for this.

“Beyond these facts, we can’t forget about many other aspects. We are FCB and the club is more important than any one person. Neymar left us, he is constantly suing FCB, I think this choice is obvious.”

While Neymar is unlikely to retrace his steps to Barca, Font is still hoping to see talismanic club captain Lionel Messi commit to a new contract at some stage and bring the uncertainty surrounding his future to a close.

He said of the mercurial Argentine: “We think he can be retained. Beyond his frustration, which is probably very high given the level we reached last August, there's his love for FCB.

“He always said he wants to end at FCB and his frustration belongs to the lack of a project.

“This is exactly what we have been working on, to be competitive again. This is what we would like to tell him and I think he will give us an opportunity.”

Messi is, however, heading towards free agency in 2021 as things stand, with Font adding: “I am sure with a project like ours he would never have reached the point of asking to leave.

“But if we reach that point and you have a verbal agreement with someone who has earned the right to decide what he wants, we should be at his side to make sure he leaves with the biggest honours ever seen and to ensure that the relationship lasts a long time.”