Joan Laporta and her board were still celebrating as midnight struck on Thursday after Barcelona members voted to allow the club to sell assets that could fetch around 600m euros (£514m).
sports mail asks if there’s a lot to celebrate, if that means the club can now sign Robert Lewandowski, forget about selling Frenkie de Jong and outbid Chelsea for Jules Kounde.
Where did the £514m come from?
Laporta says he has a €200m (£171m) offer for Barca Licensing and Merchandising (BLM) – the club’s stores essentially. And he says there are investment funds that want to buy up to 25% of future TV rights for the next 25 years.
He says he will sell 10% for €200m (£171m).
Members voted to sell 49.9 per cent of the club’s retail arm, Barcelona Licensing and Merchandising, as well as part of their TV rights, which will boost transfer funds this summer.
So if the club sells 20%, that’s €400m (£343m). Add the €400m and the €200m (£171m) and you have €600m (£514m).
Can we be sure the £514m is actually coming?
Transactions have yet to be made, and before the end of June. Laporta says they’re in place but until they’re signed, Barcelona’s position doesn’t change.
Suppose they get the money. Then what ?
This should mean that LaLiga allows them to buy and sell players normally like other clubs instead of applying what is called Article 100, which means they have to earn four euros to spend one ( or in some cases make three to spend one).
Why does having £514m more take them out of Article 100?
This may not be the case.
Twice a year, LaLiga gives each club a salary cap. Put simply, it boils down to: “You make €500m (£428m), your non-football costs are €200m (£171m), so you can spend €300m (£257m) on wages.”
Barca are the only club in LaLiga with a negative salary cap of minus €144m (£123m).
With an additional €600m (£514m), the minus €144m (£123m) would become over €456m (£391m). But the wage bill is currently €560m (£480m) so they would still be over their limit and tied to Article 100.
Barcelona members have voted on a proposal that will raise much-needed funds
So they’re not off the hook then?
No, they still have to reduce the payroll. Or earn €700m (£599m) from the sale of these assets instead of €600m (£514m). Laporta said it was between 600 and 700.
Can they now get Lewandowski?
They want him signed by July 15 so they can take him on their US tour.
Bayern are holding out for 40m euros (£34m). He wants to come and rumor has it that he won’t return to Munich for pre-season training on July 8.
He lives in a house he owns in Mallorca, although he is rumored to be in Turkey now.
His transfer hinges on Laporta getting the deals – which fans have now said he can do – done.
Barcelona want Robert Lewandowski and these deals can help them get closer to the striker
Did they still need to sell De Jong?
They still want to cut the wage bill from €560m (£480m) to €400m (£342m). And they still believe that getting rid of De Jong, who they will have to pay around €20m (£17m) gross next season, is a good way to do it as he will also bring in a huge fee. But he still doesn’t want to leave.
In the end, someone has to go.
Neto, Clement Lenglet, Samuel Umtiti, Martin Braithwaite, Miralem Pjanic are the ones the club want to leave first but they are still under contract and don’t want to leave.
The alternative is to sell players such as Sergino Dest or De Jong.
On the positive side, they have a market. They will, however, need to be replaced.
The other alternative is for the players to take another pay cut, but the salaries have already been deferred and must be paid this season.
Can they sign Koundé?
The fee wouldn’t necessarily be an issue, as if they gave him a six-year deal, they could pay the €60m (£51.4m) price tag during that time. But they can’t compete with Chelsea in terms of salaries.
The player may prefer Barcelona. But does he prefer Barcelona to the point of playing for half of what he can earn at Chelsea?
Jules Kounde (left) loves Barcelona but they can’t compete with Chelsea on his salary
Will they sign Bernardo Silva?
If they sell De Jong they will have to sign a midfielder but Carlos Soler would be a much cheaper option. It seems highly unlikely unless City are interested in De Jong.
Will Azpilicueta arrive?
It’s starting to look like probably not.
If Chelsea let him go for free, that’s a possibility.
Xavi phoned him last January to ask him to come through the winter window. He said he wouldn’t consider leaving mid-season. But a one-year extension to his contract was automatically triggered last season, so he is no longer a free agent.
With new people in charge at Chelsea, there doesn’t seem to be much chance his automatic renewal could be torn up, allowing him to spend nothing and Barcelona want free transfers (Lewandowski and possibly Soler aside).
It looks increasingly unlikely that Cesar Azpilicueta will swap Chelsea for Barcelona this summer
And Marcos Alonso?
More or less the same thing but less priority.
If Chelsea let him go for free, it’s possible. But he has one year left on his contract.
Barcelona don’t need him as much as Azpilicueta because Jordi Alba plays more than 30 games a season on the left and he has a contract until 2024.
Will Dembele stay?
It’s an endless game of who blinks first.
Barca hope he won’t find another club and accept the offer they made to him.
The player’s representatives hope that with the improved state of finances, Barcelona can pay him a signing fee.
More outside than inside as it stands, but it could go either way.
Barcelona want Ousmane Dembele to fail to find another club so he accepts their latest offer