Barça's summer dealings: an overview

The club is caught between attempting to reduce its wage bill while improving its squad

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Adrià Fernández

Barcelona is currently faced with the difficult task of building a stronger squad for the 2021-22 season while trying to reduce its wage bill by half. This is a hugely difficult task given the club's current financial woes. The team will also need to take a step forward in attaining the targets set out at the beginning of the year.

Barça is currently working on various deals, particularly outgoing ones. The club has already confirmed the arrival of four new players while terminating the contract of various others, which has not added much to the club's coffers.

Renewals

  • Leo Messi: Barça and Messi have reached a pre-agreement for a new five-year deal. The Argentina captain ended his previous contract on 30 June during his participation in the Copa América: a competition that he ended up winning for the first time in his career. The renewal will be confirmed at the end of the month, with the player due to agree to a 50% pay cut. There will also be a 350 million euros release clause inserted into the contract.

Incomings

  • Sergio 'Kun' Agüero: This was Barcelona's first signing of the summer. The Argentina striker arrives as a free agent after leaving his previous club Manchester City on 30 June.
  • Eric Garcia: The centre back's signing was officially announced the day after Aguero's presentation. Eric, who left Barça's academy back in 2017, returns home after several years at the 'Cityzens'. He also arrived as a free agent, with his contract running out at the end of June.
  • Emerson Royal: The Brazilian full back arrives at the Camp Nou after Barça exercised the 9 million euro buy-back clause that they held over the full back. Emerson spent the last two seasons on loan at Real Betis and will now seek to cement a place in Koeman's first team.
  • Memphis Depay: Barça's fourth signing of the summer was officially announced during the group stage of the European Championship. Memphis, who already tried to sign for Barça last year, was specifically requested by Ronald Koeman, having previously coached him during his time managing the Dutch national team. Depay is Barça's third free transfer of the summer.
  • Iñaki Peña: Last year's third-choice 'keeper will be involved in the first team squad next year. The young shot stopper will try to convince the coaches and sporting directors that he is ready to be entrusted with the back-up goalkeeper role, with Neto looking likely to leave the club.
  • Álex Collado: Like Peña, Barça B's number 10 will also be involved with the first team next season. Trincao's loan move to Premier League side Wolves has opened up a place for Collado in the squad.
  • Ilaix Moriba: Moriba was a guaranteed starter in Koeman's side for the final games of last season. Barça are still trying to get the player to sign a new deal. Until he accepts their proposal, Ilaix will not be involved with the first team this pre-season.

Departures

  • Junior Firpo: Firpo's sale to Premier League side Leeds United has raised the most money for the club so far this summer: 15 million euros. Barça will also be entitled to 20% of any future sale.
  • Jean-Clair Todibo: Nice exercised their option to sign the French centre back for 8.5 million euros plus 7 million in variables. Barça will also be entitled to an undisclosed amount of any future sale.
  • Carles Aleñá: The Mataró-born midfielder has completed a permanent transfer to Getafe for an undisclosed amount, having spent the second half of last season at the club on loan. Barça will receive 50% of any future sale and also hold a buy-back clause and first-refusal option for any future bid for the player.
  • Konrad de la Fuente: The Barça B winger has also packed his bags, joining Marseille for 3 million euros. Barça is also entitled to an undisclosed amount of any future sale.
  • Francisco Trincao: The Portuguese midfielder has joined Wolverhampton Wanderers on loan for the 2021-22 season. The Premier League club will pay 100% of his wages and also hold a non-obligatory purchase option for the end of next season.
  • Matheus Fernandes: The Brazilian midfielder ends one of the most surreal spells ever experienced by a Barça player. The club has informed the player that they no longer require his services, terminating his contract that was due to last until June 2025.
  • Juan Miranda: Barça decided not to extend the player's contract and the left back will now remain at Real Betis, where he spent last season playing on loan. The club will also receive 40% of any future sale and holds a first-refusal clause.
  • Sergio Akieme: Almería has exercised its option to buy the full back, who spent last year at the club on loan. He arrives on a permanent transfer for a fee of 3.5 million euros. Barça is entitled to 10% of any future sale and also holds a first refusal clause.

Possible signings

  • Saúl Ñíguez: The Atlético de Madrid midfielder could arrive at Camp Nou in a swap deal involving French forward Antoine Griezmann. Barça are hoping to receive 15 million euros in addition to the player, given Griezmann's higher market value.
  • A goalkeeper: Barça are looking to bring in an experienced and relatively cheap back-up goalkeeper, with Álex Remiro, Jordi Masip and Aitor Fernández possible options. However, the club may still end up promoting Iñaki Peña to the deputy role.

Possible departures

  • Neto Murara: Barça think they could command a reasonable fee for the goalkeeper, and a permanent sale would also help them to reduce their wage bill. Both parties are keen to agree a permanent transfer away from the club.
  • Clément Lenglet: The French defender has just had a season to forget, with his performances light years away from the 2019-20 season. Barça will listen to offers for the defender, and Everton are understood to be monitoring the situation.
  • Samuel Umtiti: Since winning the World Cup with France in 2018, his performances have continually worsened. He is also one of the highest paid players in the squad, which is why Barça are looking to let the player go. Barça are considering unilaterally terminating his contract, as they did with Matheus. Umtiti, on the other hand, is understood to be open to a loan move.
  • Miralem Pjanic: The Bosnian midfielder played a peripheral role in his first season at Camp Nou. He was behind Busquets, De Jong, Pedri and even Ilaix in the pecking order in the final run-in. He has failed to nail down a place in the team, and given his high salary, Barça are hoping to move the player on to another club. One possible option could be a loan move to his former club, Juventus.
  • Philippe Coutinho: He started the season on fire, but a meniscus injury has kept him sidelined for almost the entire season. The club cannot afford his wage and they feel that he could still command a high fee from a European club, so they are therefore looking to sell him.
  • Antoine Griezmann: The player's situation has changed drastically in recent weeks and he now looks to be close to the exit door. His most likely destination is Atlético de Madrid, where he played between 2014 and 2019. Saúl Ñíguez may be included in the deal, in addition to 15 million euros.
  • Martin Braithwaite: The arrivals of Aguero and Depay mean that it will be hard for Braithwaite to get minutes next season. Having had an excellent Euro 2020, reaching the semi-finals with Denmark, the player looks likely to complete a 15 million euro move to a Premier League side.
  • Ousmane Dembélé: The French forward looked likely to leave the club this summer, but an injury to his right thigh will keep him out of action for four months. The club is now looking to tie him down to a new contract on a lower salary, as his current deal is due to run out in 2022 and the club is reluctant to lose the player for nothing next summer.

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