In past years, and after all the disappointments in the Champions League, Barcelona are rushing to sign players worth tens of millions of dollars, later it turns out that they are either losing deals or not worth the large sums that were paid on them.
That is why the new Barca administration, led by Juan Laporta and Dutch coach Ronald Koeman – who is supposed to stay next season at the “Camp Nou” – is planning a major replacement process and a radical change in the team structure with the aim of raising the level and returning to competition locally and continually.
Among these solutions, reducing the huge salary bill, by selling players and loaning others, or making swap deals with other teams, or laying off players whose contracts expire, for free.
According to the Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo, Barca plans to dispense with 14 players, including: Brazilian goalkeeper Neto, French goalkeeper Samuel Umtiti, Dane’s Martin Braithwaite, as well as Brazilian Philippe Coutinho, Bosnian Miralem Pjanic, as well as Spaniard Verbo Junior.
As for the surprising name put forward by the Catalan newspaper, it is the Spaniard Sergio Roberto, whose contract expires in the summer of 2022 and the player may be allowed to leave for free.
The most important point in the matter is the determination of the Argentine star Lionel Messi remaining in the team for at least the next two years, because his departure or survival will depend on its repercussions for many things, but if he remains, he will agree to a large deduction from his annual salary.
Among the names that Laporta refuses to dispense with is the young Spaniard, Ricky Puig, whose Barca administration believes that the player has good footballing potentials that he can count on in the future.
In a meeting held yesterday in a Barcelona restaurant between Koeman and Laporta, the latter asked the Dutch coach to be more offensive, and told him that “the club does not like the 3-5-2 plan adopted by the Dutch coach in the past two months, which restricts the team offensively.” “.
But Barca – who practically lost the competition for the LaLiga title this season after the victory of Atlético and Real Madrid in their matches yesterday and the day before respectively – is not suffering only offensively, but also defensively.
That is why the team’s first contracts will be with Spaniard Eric Garcia, a graduate of the “Lamasia” academy and the current center of defense for Manchester City, who moves free to Barca, and Barca is looking for another left-footed center back.
In the midfield, things are not better, and that is why Koeman wants to sign his compatriot Georginio Wijnaldum for free from Liverpool, and the process of contracting Argentine striker Sergio Agüero is on the right track after his contract with City expires next summer, and the same is true for Dutch striker Memphis Depay, captain of Lyon The Frenchman, whose contract also expires this summer.
However, all these free contracts incur huge salaries – although all the stars coming to Barcelona agreed to huge deductions from their salaries – so the club requested a loan of half a billion euros, with the aim of achieving financial stability for the club, (including salaries), and making some investments. Necessary (contracts), but without making huge, unaffordable contracts.