Barcelona Shortlist Star Premier League Striker As Haaland Alternative: Wise Move?

Barcelona will reportedly consider a move for Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku should they fail to land Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland in the summer.

Erling Haaland, 21, is the most sought after young talent in Europe, and like every other top club, Barcelona are interested in signing him. A special talent, the Norwegian international has a €75 million release clause in his contract with Borussia Dortmund, which could be activated this summer. However, the Catalan club are not the favourites to land the young striker.

According to Diario AS, Barcelona have identified Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku as one of the three alternative targets to Erling Haaland. The other two are Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah and Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, as the Blaugrana openly admit they are behind Manchester City in the race for the Dortmund goal-machine, the report adds.

Romelu Lukaku, 28, re-signed for Chelsea for a club-record fee of £97.5m last summer from Inter Milan, but has failed to live up to his price tag. The big Belgian has netted only 11 times in 33 appearances to date and has lost his place in Thomas Tuchel’s starting XI in the last couple of months.

Romelu Lukaku to Barcelona—Will he be a good fit at Camp Nou?

Barcelona will continue their rebuild under Xavi Hernandez in the summer and they have targeted signing a top-class forward. There are doubts over the futures of Luuk de Jong, Ousmane Dembele, Martin Braithwaite and Memphis Depay at the Catalan club, with president Joan Laporta planning to retool the squad.

The Blaugrana are among a host of top European clubs interested in signing Haaland from Dortmund, and the player’s age, skill-set, potential and availability at a reasonable price make him a perfect fit in Xavi’s squad. However, as Manchester City are in pole position for his signature, the La Liga giants have lined up Romelu Lukaku as one of the alternative targets to the Norwegian star.

Lukaku returned to Chelsea amid a lot of fanfare after helping Inter Milan win the Scudetto last season. After failing to deliver the goods consistently, his desire is to leave the Blues at the end of the campaign and that has only been hastened by recent events surrounding the west London club. However, the Belgian striker wouldn’t be a good fit at Barcelona.

Barcelona have picked up the pace in recent weeks under Xavi, playing a fluid, eye-catching brand of football. It is true that the Spanish club are eyeing a top striker to reinforce their attack but Lukaku, despite being a household name in European football, won’t be a good choice.

A battering ram, Lukaku’s style of play doesn’t really suit the way Xavi wants his Barcelona team to operate. The Belgium international isn’t the most technically gifted of strikers, while his link-up play and reading of the game don’t fall under his strengths. At 28, he may be operating at the peak of his powers but Barcelona should preferably look for a longer-term solution.

Keeping all the aforementioned factors in mind, the Catalan giants must avoid signing Lukaku from Chelsea and must shift their focus towards younger alternatives in the market in order to ensure stability in their ranks for the foreseeable future.

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