Barcelona will be offloading players in a bid to balance their books. The club is in debt to the tune of around €1,173 million and is desperate to lose some deadwood. With far stricter financial regulations in La Liga, Barcelona must drop its wage bill to around €200m. They are unable to register any of their new signings, including Sergio Aguero, Memphis Depay, and Eric Garcia because they have exceeded La Liga’s strict salary limit by 40 per cent.
Barcelona Wage Bill Needs to Drop to €200m
Players Will Be Leaving at Cut-Price Deals to Reduce the Wage Bill at Barcelona
Barcelona are struggling to recover finances lost during the coronavirus pandemic. The Guardian reports the Catalan club has lost roughly €350 million during the pandemic. However, the club is also reaping the product of chronic overspending in their recent past. Gigantic signings with overinflated wages are also part of the financial issue at the club. Gerard Piqué, Marc André ter Stegen, Frenkie de Jong, and Clément Lenglet have already agreed to reduce their salaries. Reducing the salaries is just one way the club is lowering wage costs. This financial downsizing means that some players will leave for a fraction of their original transfer price.
In an interview with La Vanguardia, the club’s president Joan Laporta admits the club’s wage structure is causing major problems: “We have found ourselves with a squad with out-of-date salaries and we will have to juggle.”
And with the financial problems of public knowledge, Barcelona occupies a vulnerable position when it comes to negotiating prices.
Who Could Be Leaving Barcelona?
Philipe Coutinho, 28, is one of the biggest names that Barcelona are trying to offload. There were reports that Coutinho could sign for his former club Liverpool but this quickly petered out. Despite this setback, Coutinho is still likely to leave Barcelona.
Samuel Umtiti, 27, is another player that Barca hope to remove from their wage bill. The defender’s time at the club is marred with injury problems and with Lyon a potential destination, Umtiti may be loaned out to help reduce costs.
Miralem Pjanic, 31, knows his time at Barcelona is up and is likely to return to Italy. The Bosnian, who joined Barcelona from Juventus in 2020 for £54 million, featured in just 30 games and is one of the highest earners at the club.
Martin Braithwaite, 30, put himself into the shop window with some decent performances at Euro 2020. Another big name on the books is Antoine Griezmann. The Frenchman reportedly earns €45 million annually and if Barcelona can offload this significant wage, they will be in a much healthier position.
Junior Firpo is already out of the door since joining Leeds United for €15 million. The left-back played signed for Barcelona in 2019 but made just 24 appearances. Matheus Fernandes’s trip to Barcelona was an especially short one. Initially signing a five-year contract in January 2020, Fernandes saw his contract terminated by Barca in June 2021. Francisco Trincão, 21, signed for Barcelona for around €31 million but is now on loan at Wolves, who have an optional fee of €25million if they wish to make the transfer permanent.
Ronald Koeman Tempers Expectations
As reported in the Manchester Evening News, Barca boss Ronald Koeman reiterates the difficult situation the club is in right now: “We try to have the best squad possible but we are a big club, we are Barcelona and always the expectations are really high and we like that. We have the qualities for that to have a very good season again and win trophies for this season.”