Catalonia’s dailies fill their pages with talk about the landing of generational talent Erling Haaland, but Barcelona and their fans could get a wake-up call to the hard facts of their troubled financial situation.
A new week should bring new stories, but in Catalonia local sports newspapers continue to publish variations of the same transfer saga that takes place at Camp Nou.
After his heroics in the Champions League, Haaland is their new Neymar or Lautaro Martinez from last season, meaning big names who should find their way to the Catalan giants before the coronavirus doused everything around the club in cold water.
On Monday morning, SPORT claimed that the signing of the Borussia Dortmund sensation was “optimistic”, which extends an ongoing theme of the improved Blaugrana morale overall.
After all, Barca have transformed after their worst year in recent history under Ronald Koeman.
Despite a slow start, the Dutchman finished second in the league, has been unbeaten in 18 games and has already reached the Copa del Rey final.
Gems like Pedri, which cost just $ 5.8 million from Las Palmas, have been revealed and turned into full Spanish internationals. At the same time, he is helping Lionel Messi to love his football again.
The winner of the Ballon d’Or, slated to go beyond contract expiration on June 30, has seen a dramatic change of heart since attempting to force an exit last summer.
The Argentine accused then-President Josep Bartomeu of failing to keep his word and failing to grant his wishes, but it is the election of his successor through elections earlier this month that changed Messi’s thinking and sparked the Haaland buzz.
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The charismatic, cigar-smoking Joan Laporta, who was elected for a second term, won over the socios who longed for a return to his six-fold glory days of the Pep Guardiola era.
While Bartomeu botched talks to land much-needed center-back Matthijs de Ligt, who opted for Juventus instead, Laporta has a close relationship with his super agent Mino Raiola, who also represents Haaland.
But it’s more than just a magic offensive that will bring any deal over the line.
Dortmund continues to deny that there is a $ 88 million release clause due to be activated in 2022. But while Barca believe it will force them to sell this summer, neither those numbers nor any other figure between $ 176.5 million and $ 235 million are realistic for the La Liga giants.
As one of the clubs hardest hit by the pandemic, they are drowning in debt of $ 1.37 billion, of which $ 859 million is due in the short term and $ 313 million on Messi’s expiry date of 30. June have.
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Apart from “optimism”, SPORT admits that the broadcast depends on “selling one or two starters” and paying the wage costs for high wage earners. Easier said than done.
In this market, who would pay the highest price for injury-related outsiders Philippe Coutinho or Ousmane Dembele – although the latter are in improved shape – or a 30-year-old Antoine Griezmann?
In the last two windows there were also no takers like Samuel Umtiti – substitute players when they are not on the operating table and are more than happy to make high-paying agreements that were disastrously made by Bartomeu.
“What is clear about the club is that there will only be one top who will sign this [upcoming] Season. A single investment that has to be geared towards a center forward “, writes SPORT.
But maybe it’s better not to be too excited, it will be Haaland, if anyone is of any repute at all.
Lyon’s Memphis Depay, which Koeman has longed for since joining the Dutch national team, could be as good as it gets.
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