It’s not a new occurrence when one mentions that Barcelona want to strengthen the first team in the winter market itself. But, both the sports management team and the coaching staff know that they’ve hit a big wall in the name of Financial Fair Play limits, imposed by La Liga on the club.
“We disagree. They penalized us for being eliminated from the group stages of the champions league, but they don’t take it into consideration that if we win the Europa league, we will be very close to the budgeted amount.”, people from Barcelona say.
The club is looking for a right back and a midfielder on a priority basis. After the recent meetings, it’s already known that it will be practically impossible if the status quo remains the same. Hector Bellerin will likely play in that position along with Sergio Roberto and Jules Kounde.
In summer the priorities will be something else. So yes, reinforcements will arrive at that time but it’s necessary to fulfill the promises made a few months ago to some current squad players. It’s necessary to update the file of Araujo and Gavi, who have reached an agreement for an extension already but their contract registration is pending to comply with the FFP regulations.
In addition, Barcelona faces the renewal of two other players from the youth academy who are part of the first team. One of them is Ter Stegen’s substitute goalkeeper, Iñaki Peña. The La Masian keeper’s contract is set to expire on June 30th and he has agreed to renew it for three seasons. The announcement could be made even before the end of the year and its file should also be updated.
A similar case is of Alejandro Balde. The left-back has been the emerging star of the season and made his world cup debut this season itself, such has been his impact. The extension agreement has been finalized for 3 years and if the club manages to make enough space to accommodate him while complying with the regulations, he’ll be registered in January. The idea is to give number 13 to Iñaki Peña and 12 to Alejandro Balde.
To meet these objectives, Barcelona need to increase their income. The primary way could be by selling Memphis Depay to another club, whose contract ends next summer and this could be the last opportunity to cash in on the Dutch forward.
The club also seeks to increase revenue through a marketing area led by the vice president, Juli Guiu. An agreement has been made between the club and Whitebait, the Ukrainian cryptocurrency company. The club will earn €30 million over the span of three seasons, which roughly comes down to €10 million per season.
The announcement of the deal disappeared from the website after a day it was made official, but the club explained that they’re reviewing some points. If the agreement was broken, the club would earn the penalty clause.
Another objective is to close the sleeve sponsorship deal for the first team shirt, which has been free since last summer after the deal with Beko expired. “Whoever wants to advertise through the Barcelona jersey must pay for it”, the club says.
There were advances with Nexo, another cryptocurrency company, but the board was never in favor of wearing an advertisement of this sector on the first team shirt. There have been contacts with other companies which pay more, such as Cupra. More meaningful advances will follow in the coming days.
La Blaugrana also lost one of its captains just before the world cup. Gerard Pique bid farewell to his childhood club, also remitting the pending salary as a helpful gesture. It is estimated that this clears up a space of about €5 million in the FFP limits for this winter which might give some room for maneuvering during the transfer window. It will also help lower the wage bill for the next season.