Why Alfie Haaland and Mino Raiola pictured in Barcelona means very little
Pictures have emerged through Spanish newspaper Diario Sport showing the representatives of Erling Haaland landing in Barcelona and being whisked away by Barcelona president Joan Laporta's right-hand man. The two men being notorious super-agent Mino Raiola and former Manchester City captain Alfie Haaland.
Unsurprisingly, this has sparked quite the discussion on social media with fans of the clubs also interested in Erling Haaland beginning to sweat at the brow - for absolutely no reason.
Public Relations. Essentially, it's just a case of Mino Raiola and Joan Laporta doing their jobs. Raiola has to show that his asset is in high demand and there's no better way of doing this than showing the whole footballing world that you are publicly, during a pandemic, visiting one of the interested parties and having a reported two-hour conversation about a client. This benefits Laporta as well - it shows that he is moving to try and secure the future of the club and be the president he promised to be.
Alfie Haaland and/or Mino Raiola have likely spoken to a host of other interested parties. Just because you haven't seen pictures, seen videos, or heard voice recordings about the phone calls and lowkey meetings doesn't mean they haven't taken place. From the Manchester City perspective, the reliable duo Jack Gaughan of Mail Sport and Sam Lee of The Athletic have both reported that City have spoken to the Haaland camp over a potential transfer. There have also been whispers that Khaldoon Al Mubarak held discussions with Alfie Haaland up to as early as a year ago, laying the foundations for a move.
This is just business. Haaland's representatives will shop around for the best overall package from a sporting perspective and a personal one. How would they present their demands and know what's on offer without holding these kinds of discussions? They wouldn't be doing their jobs otherwise. It's just business, with a touch of PR.
UPDATE: Fabrizio Romano and others have since reported that Haaland's representatives will travel to England in the near future to conduct discussions with interested parties in the Premier League.