Barcelona rule themselves OUT of Erling Haaland transfer race due to crippling debt in huge boost to Man City

BARCELONA have ruled themselves OUT of the race to sign Borussia Dortmund hotshot Erling Haaland.

The Catalan giants are trying to ease their financial problems after years of poor spending caught up with them.

Last summer, Barca lost their greatest ever player in Lionel Messi and were forced to spend smart – bringing in a number of high profile free transfers.

In the January transfer window, the club spent £55million on Ferran Torres and signed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for FREE after whittling down their wage bill.

Both New Year arrivals have been raging successes for Xavi's side, placing them as favourites to win the Europa League.

But a rebuild at Barca will NOT consist of signing football's next generation of world beaters.

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Haaland ‘rejects £500k-a-week Man City offer’ but could still make Etihad transfer

The club are keen to avoid undoing all of the hard work it took to get the finances back on track by signing Haaland.

Club president Joan Laporta told Mundo Deportivo: "I insist, I will not talk about specific players but I can tell you that we will not carry out any operation that puts the institution at risk.

"It has been a maxim that we have followed since we became president again, it happened to us in various circumstances and we are going to continue with this philosophy, not to put the institution at risk with operations that, not even if we were already healthy, we would.

"So, you can talk about players, about big-money operations in which Barca is not going to lose its head.

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"That the fans are calm because we are not going to lose our heads for an operation of these magnitudes.

"Most of the players want to come to Barca, they like the club, the team, our philosophy, our way of working, of understanding football. And this is good, we are verifying it in many cases and daily.

"They will have to adapt to the salary levels of Barca and to an economic structure of the operation that maintains the sustainability and balance of the club."

Laporta's comments will be music to Manchester City's ears, with the defending Premier League champions said to be leading the race for the Norwegian's signature.

But to get Haaland on the books at the Etihad, it could cost City upwards of £500,000-a-week.

Haaland's entourage have reportedly knocked back an offer of half a million a week but a deal is still possible.

Barca reportedly made an offer for Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe, who is out on contract this summer.

But Laporta again insists players must fit within Barca's new financial model.

On Mbappe, he said: "Here everyone is free to launch messages and proclamations and we already know that this is part of the world of football, that the big clubs are interested in great players.

"But I'm not going to enter, and you have to allow me not to talk about players because if I do, the only thing I can do is harm the interests of our club.

"If we talk about a player and we had the intention of signing him, we would increase the price.

"Neither with this player nor with others do I want to comment on issues because it would harm the interests of the club.

"The technical secretary and sports management are working to improve our squad, which is getting better and better, we are more and more satisfied.

"I want it to be clearly understood that we prioritise the team above all else, a reinforced team in each of its lines and what we do not participate in is elevating players or looking for players who are more than the team.

"What we want to strengthen is the team we have that plays based on a genuine Barca system.

"The club thinks that this is what the football team needs, this genuine style that for me is the key to everything and is what we have to do, a team that can play this system with highly talented players."

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