Barcelona’s economic problems appear to have resurfaced once again as the club are facing a race against time to register all the new signings ahead of the opening game against Rayo Vallecano.
It’s been a very busy transfer window at the Camp Nou with Barca making a number of high-profile signings, including striker Robert Lewandowski and defender Jules Kounde, who was heavily linked with a move to Chelsea, despite financial struggles engulfing the club.
As things stand, the Catalans have an inflated wage bill that is preventing them from registering the new players. It has forced the club to look to not only offload the fringe players but also to offer existing stars renewed contracts with pay cuts.
A recent report has chimed in on this period of uncertainty for Barcelona, suggesting the club are also running the risk of losing a couple of their new signings if they fail to register them on time.
It’s been gathered that Lewandowski, Raphinha and Kounde are not yet registered to play in Spain’s top flight, while the contract renewals signed by Sergi Roberto and Ousmane Dembele haven’t been registered either.
The two players in question are Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen, who both have a special clause in their contracts that will enable them to leave for free.
Christensen and Kessie joined on free transfers after seeing out their contracts with Chelsea and AC Milan respectively, but could leave for absolutely nothing this summer.
The clause will be applicable if Barça fail to register them before the opening game against Rayo Vallecano. The decision to leave the club will solely be on the players, meaning the two can wait around until the end of the month, should they deem it viable.
In the Barcelona camp, president Joan Laporta has been able to keep everyone calm. He is confident the two players will be registered on time, and even if they fail to do, the club have until the end of the month to register the new players.
Some of the new signings can already be registered now, although it appears Barcelona want to avoid any potential complications by registering them all at once.
Laporta has been brought in to restructure the club’s finances but hasn’t been shy with splashing the cash
In the worst case scenario Barca would seek to speak with the players’ agents to avoid the extreme outcome as they have until the end of August to register signings.
Barca have spent more than £137million this summer but are understood to have raised over €600m (around £506m) by selling 25 per cent of their domestic television rights for 25 years and a 24.5 per cent stake in Barca studios.
Report says this is still not enough incoming for Barcelona to be able to register all of their signings and contract renewals, although some could be registered now. This would depend on the cost and combination of the deals.
The club are looking to sell a further 24.5 per cent stake in Barca Studios and continue to negotiate wage adjustments with other players, including Sergio Busquets and Gerard Pique.
It’s understood Pique’s wage cut last summer allowed Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia to be registered on the eve of last season, while Busquets and Jordi Alba taking cuts allowed Sergio Aguero to be signed up before the transfer window closed.
Barcelona’s spending cap, imposed by LaLiga, was -€144m at the end of last season, the only negative limit in the league, and will have to be increased substantially to register all their summer activity.
They hope that the sale of club assets, coupled with a sponsorship deal signed with Spotify earlier in 2022, will eventually increase their cap in order to allow them to register every player.
Meanwhile, Chelsea may actually be able to sign a player from Xavi’s side rather than the other way around.
A lot could depend on how well Barcelona manage to offload a few of the star players, including Frenkie de Jong or even Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has emerged as a target for Chelsea this summer.