Wednesday, December 1

The Barça changing room, a powder keg




“Everything is going well”. Nth message of tranquility launched by JoanLaporta. On this occasion yesterday morning when they asked him about the continuity of Leo messi. The optimism of the president contrasts with the famished economic situation of the club, which seeks to make room for the Argentine by lightening an exceeded salary mass and which prevents the registration, even, of the four signings that have been made so far (Agüero, Éric García, Memphis Depay and Emerson). The huge debt that the club drags and the double limit that it sees imposed between the current lack of income and the spending guidelines set by LaLiga force Barça to part with players that condition the salary limit established by the employer’s association.

The board works with the intention of reduce the wage bill by 200 million after verifying that today it represents 110 percent of income and the financial ‘fair play’ sets the cap at 70 percent, with Javier Tebas inflexible in this aspect. President Laporta’s hand is not shaking when it comes to ‘cleaning’ the squad, although he is finding a locker room reluctant to a reduction in their emoluments and, above all, to change of scene.

“Right now Todibo, Konrad, Matheus, Trincao and Junior Firpo have left, but none of them has a great impact on the release of the wage bill. Its influence is minimal. Depay, for example, is sure to charge more than Konrad or Todibo. If no one else is released, Barça will have a problem, “he assures Jacinto Vicente, an expert lawyer in sports law, to ABC. The five casualties represent a savings in salaries of 25 million per year, in addition to an income of 8.5 million by Todibo (Nice), 3 by Konrad (Olympique de Marseille) and 15 by Junior (Leeds). Trinca has been given away to Wolverhampton already Matheus the contract has been terminated.

Barcelona need to transfer players with an outdated record and achieve a salary cut for those who enter Koeman’s plans. Among the first are Umtiti, Coutinho, Pjanic and Griezmann, but, if it was difficult to sign them, it will be more difficult to kick them out without a millionaire compensation. The latter include heavyweights such as Busquets, Piqué, Jordi Alba, Sergi Roberto or Dembélé, of which the club hopes that they will follow Messi’s example of cutting their emoluments in half. Precisely, this is the proposal that has been transferred to Busquets, who receives around 25 million euros per season. In exchange, he has been proposed to extend his contract for two more years, until 2025, with which he would end up winning the same, but in four years. Proposal similar to the one Sergi Roberto has received. The midfielder is not about to make a new effort and he has reminded the club that last year it already accepted a cut due to the pandemic. Jordi Alba, with offers from Italy and a file similar to that of Busquets, is clear at 32 that he wants to complete the three years that he has signed. In case of Dembele It is peculiar, since his injury disrupts the plans of the club, which cannot sell him and aspires to renew him on the downside. Its 20 million per year are unaffordable and inappropriate for its performance.

In any case, the key for Messi’s renewal to come to fruition is in the hands of Umtiti, Pjanic, Coutinho y Griezmann, to those who want out of the club. All four cost Barça 90 million a year. Laporta is willing to give freedom to the first two in exchange for freeing himself from his card (30 million between them). Umtiti, with a contract until 2023, has castled despite knowing that it does not fit into Koeman’s plans, aware that no other club can pay him what he charges as a Barça player. And the Bosnian, with offers from the Premier, would prefer to return to Italy, but he is not about to forgive the three years that remain at the Camp Nou.

More receptive to leaving is Coutinho, whose experience at Barça has been a nightmare. The Brazilian would be willing to earn less in another team that would allow him to enjoy himself again, which would mean a savings of 35 million per year in salary for the Catalans. Its starting price should be at 45 million that remain to be amortized. As to Griezmann, the arrivals of Depay and Agüero leave him without a place. You will not be short of offers despite the 35 million you earn. He has three years left on his contract, which means 70 million of amortization.

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