Xavi makes bitter claim over Haaland’s Barcelona snub as Man City near £50m deal

Barcelona manager Xavi has suggested Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland has chosen Manchester City over Barcelona for "financial reasons."

City made Dortmund aware they would be activating his release clause, which according to Fabrizio Romano is as low as £50million, as he is still under contract until 2024. Having undergone and passed his medical on Monday, the north west side are set to announce the signing of Haaland this week.

Pep Guardiola got the advantage over other interested European clubs including Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain. Barca's president Joan Laporta claimed that signing the striker would mean jeopardising the long-term finances for current squad players, despite showing an interest on the player.

"It is very difficult because of the economic situation," Xavi explained why Barca didn't sign Haaland before aiming a dig at the player. "I can't lie to you, that is the reality. I wouldn't say [it is only down to money]. I will not disrespect other projects.

"We don’t have the only valid project. There are many other successful ones, including City. They have titles and great results and they are great competitors.

"However, in the end, if the move happens, it would be primarily for financial reasons. I have no doubt about that."

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The 21-year-old made the £17million move from Red Bull Salzburg to Dortmund in 2020, after a brief spell in Austria. In his first spell at Dortmund, he surpassed all expectations, netting 41 goals in as many appearances in all competitions.

Meanwhile this season, he has maintained his form, scoring 28 goals in 29 appearances in all competitions. BVB have, however, let rivals Bayern Munich run away with the Bundesliga title, as they sit second place and 10 points adrift the summit.

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