Barça wanted to strengthen in the January transfer window. But both the sports management team and Xavi Hernández know Barça’s limitations of LaLiga and the FFP imposed by the league’s president Javier Tebas.
“We disagree. They penalise us for being eliminated in the first phase of the Champions League. But they don’t take into account that if we win the Europa League, we will stay very close to the budgeted amount”, sources explain from Barça.
The club were looking for a right back as a priority and also a midfielder, a position that was left short with the departures of Nico González and Miralem Pjanic. After recent meetings, the coaching staff already know it will be practically impossible to fulfill their wishes. Héctor Bellerín remains and will share the right-back role with Sergi Roberto, Araujo and Koundé. Roberto, now recovered from injury, will provide versatility for Xavi.
The priority is the summer
In summer, it will be different. Then, yes, reinforcements will have to arrive almost out of obligation. But this winter the priority for the board of directors and the sports management is to fulfill the promises they made a few months ago to some of the players in the current squad.
It is urgent to update the contracts of two footballers who renewed months ago: Araujo and Gavi. The two reached an agreement with the club, but their significantly improved deals were not updated with LaLiga so as not to breach the fair play rules. The Uruguayan defender extended his contract in April until 2026, while Gavi did so last September, also until 2026.
In fact, the agreement between the midfielder from the academy and the club had been closed for months. But it was not announced until after the window closed. Gavi has continued playing with a reserve team shirt number and the idea was that in January he would take the number ‘6’.
2 more urgent renewals
In addition, Barça want to renew two other players from the youth academy who are part of the first team. One of them is Ter Stegen’s backup, Iñaki Peña. His contract ends on June 30 and his renewal for three seasons is agreed. The announcement could be made even before the end of the year.
Alejandro Balde’s situation is similar. The left-back was the great surprise of the first half of the season at Barça. Luis Enrique even took him to the World Cup in Qatar. Balde’s excellent performances forced the sports management to make a move with his camp. Now, both parties are very close to reaching an agreement for three seasons.
If the club manages to have enough financial ‘fair play’ to be able to meet all their objectives, Iñaki Peña has reserved the number ’13’ and Balde, the ’12’.
💰| Barcelona's agreement with 'WhiteBit' is worth €30m for the next 3 years that is until June 2025.
• The Ukrainian company has already advanced almost half of this money and it will help Barça comply with La Liga's FFP this season.
— Barça Buzz (@Barca_Buzz) December 16, 2022
In order to meet all these objectives, Barça need to improve their financial ‘fair play’ with more revenue. They can do it with the sale of a player and all eyes are on Memphis, whose contract ends on June 30. Therefore, this winter appears as the last opportunity to get some money for him.
But the club also want to increase revenue through the marketing area led by the vice president, Juli Guiu. In this context, the agreement reached by Barça last week with the Ukrainian cryptocurrency company, WhiteBIT, is explained.
The agreement is for three seasons and Barça will earn €30 euros, €10m per season. The announcement of the agreement disappeared from the club’s website a day after it became official. But Barça explain that it is not broken, they are only reviewing some points. What’s more, if it were to break, the club would have the right to collect a part because there is a penalty clause.
But Barça’s big objective right now is to close as soon as possible a sponsor for the sleeve of the first team shirt, which has been free since the relationship with Beko ended last summer. Countless proposals have arrived at the Camp Nou offices, some more than succulent. But the board has not wanted to rush a decision.
“Whoever wants to advertise on Barça’s shirt must pay for it,” they say from the club.
There were important advances with Nexo, another cryptocurrency company. But Joan Laporta and the board are not in favor of wearing advertising for this sector on the shirt. In addition, in recent months there have been contacts with other companies that pay more, such as Cupra. Very important and decisive advances are expected in the coming days.
The Pique factor
Barça lost one of their captains before the World Cup. Gerard Piqué decided to hang up his boots. With his farewell, Barça lost one of the biggest earners from the squad. The defender has given up the last 18 months of his deal, which ran until 2024, but will still receive what he previously deferred. Barça make it around €5m freed up in ‘fair play’ for January. It helps more with the salary limit for next season than this.