Barcelona’s financial woes are still far from behind them.
The Catalan club masterminded a ‘lever’ policy last summer which allowed them to recruit a number of high-profile players.
Robert Lewandowski, Jules Kounde and Raphinha were all signed for fairly hefty fees, while Franck Kessie, Andreas Christensen, Marcos Alonso and Hector Bellerin joined on free transfers.
The business conducted will likely see Barcelona crowned 2022/23 La Liga champions, but the underlying financial issues are still primed to leave a sour taste in the mouth.
So much so that according to Marca, president Joan Laporta and his hierarchy seem aware that players sales in the summer are inevitable – even if veterans like Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba drastically lower their salaries.
Especially now the activation of more ‘levers’ is firmly off the table.
Who are Barcelona’s ‘untouchables’?
Marca state that a list of untouchable players at Barcelona has been drawn up. It’s comprised of Lewandowksi, Kounde, Ousmane Dembele, Gavi, Pedri, Ronald Araujo and Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Which begs the question; who could be sold to help the team comply with financial rulings (mainly La Liga’s salary cap) and ultimately balance the books?
Well, Marca have drafted a seven-man list of big-name players, ones who would not be offloaded if there were no monetary hardships.
Let’s take a look at septet…
The youngster has enjoyed a breakthrough campaign and fits the Barcelona style perfectly. However, with a contract extension still pending, the club may be forced to sell Balde – who has plenty of suitors.
Christensen didn’t cost Barcelona a penny in transfer fees and his performances in Catalonia have seen his stock skyrocket. As such, the centre-back is a potential profit maker.
Frenkie de Jong
One of Barcelona’s most valuable and attractive assets. Receiving a large transfer fee and getting De Jong’s enormous wages off the books could end up being a necessity, even if he is a world-class operator.
The Brazilian is a high earner at the club, but hasn’t performed as many hoped he would. According to Marca, it’s thought Raphinha could bring in €60 million if sold in the summer.
He may have inherited Lionel Messi’s number 10 jersey, but Fati’s Barcelona career has been on a sharp downward trajectory ever since his serious knee injury. Untouchable? Certainly not anymore.
Viewed as surplus to requirements now, given Barcelona’s strength in attack. Torres would probably command a fee similar to the €55 million the Blaugrana invested in him.
Clearly not viewed as a key player by Xavi, so it would probably be best for Garcia to try and help with the financial issues instead. The defender isn’t a massive earner, but his departure would at least help Barcelona meet the salary cap.