Barcelona may have found their mojo back on the pitch with a hard-fought win over Real Madrid in the first leg of the Copa del Rey, but off the pitch, they remain stuck in a financial predicament.
The Spanish giants were unable to sign any new players in January, and as things stand, they won’t be allowed to spend during the summer transfer window as well.
Speaking at the Financial Times’ Business of Football summit on Thursday, La Liga chief Javier Tebas said: “As of today, Barcelona doesn’t have any room in its budget to spend in the upcoming transfer window.
“Barcelona has been involved in questionable behaviour which has had an impact on LaLiga and we are acting accordingly. We have ruled that they can no longer sign more players.”
Barcelona are ‘banned’ from signing players this summer
Barcelona have been encouraged to sell players to improve their situation. To have any chance of making new signings to rejuvenate Xavi’s squad, the Catalan outfit have to bring in £178m.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Philippe Coutinho were shipped to the Premier League last summer, but their departure hardly made any significant dent on the club’s books.
As such, this time Barcelona might have to put some star names on the transfer list.
Frenkie de Jong, who was impressive in the middle of the park in El Clasico last night, is likely to attract interest from Manchester United once again. And one of Ousmane Dembele and Raphinha could also be considered a sellable asset with both players vying for the same position at Spotify Camp Nou.
However, as per the Daily Mail, even if Barca sanction major departures, they will only be able to spend “two fifths of that amount, meaning their budget would only be a maximum of around £71m.”
Either way, the summer transfer window under the leadership of Barcelona president Joan Laporta is going to be an interesting spectacle.