For a once proud European giant, Barcelona are doing an awful impression of themselves at present.
The Catalans, thanks to the fallout from the terrible presidential tenure of Josep Maria Bartomeu, are just about keeping themselves afloat on and off the pitch.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that the upcoming winter transfer window is likely to be the most important of recent times for them too.
Given how badly they’re struggling in La Liga – Barca are currently eighth and 10 points outside of the Champions League automatic qualification spots – whom they’re able to buy and sell is going to shape the second half of their season like never before.
The pressure on Xavi Hernandez to deliver is obvious, and even more so after the latest news from Erling Haaland’s camp.
The Norwegian is European football’s hottest property, and it’s believed his buyout clause this summer will be well within reach of most of the major clubs on the continent.
Under normal circumstances, Barcelona would expect to be one of those, and given a belief that Joan Laporta enjoys a great relationship with the player’s representative, Mino Raiola, Barca could therefore be considered amongst the favourites.
Their current situation precludes them from being that, however, it appears that they are, against all odds, still in the conversation.
According to Sport, cited by the Daily Star, Haaland has warned the Catalans that they need to be in the Champions League for him to consider joining them.
That he’s appeared to mention them as a contender will surely give Laporta hope that he can pull off a real coup if Xavi and his players can complete their side of the bargain.