Barcelona are now forced to re-consider their transfer plans for the coming summer because of the financial setback caused by the pandemic. Many players are now on the market, just so that the club is able to balance the books.
The world is going through a very difficult phase right now, all because of the pandemic. Many countries are in lockdown, while some have eased their measures. Not only the pandemic has caused a huge impact in our everyday lives, but also in the world of football. Many clubs have suffered a setback in their budget, making them “reconsider” their transfer plans for the coming summer, and Barcelona is no other. They are also going through a difficult phase when it comes to financial affairs.
Their financial condition is bad to such an extent, they’re thinking about another reduction in salaries. The pandemic has also made them reconsider their plans for the summer. Before the pandemic, they were looking to spend BIG this summer, on players such as Inter’s Lautaro Martinez, PSG’s Neymar, Defenders, and more. But now because of the unforeseen circumstances, they’re forced to minimize their plans.
1) Lautaro Martinez
Barcelona has been following Lautaro Martinez for 3 years now, and are finally looking to make a move for him this summer. It’s not really a surprise to hear this. Lautaro Martinez is a fantastic all rounded striker who has the ability to score all kinds of goals. He’s also physically great and helps out in the defense at times. The club believes that he is the ideal successor to club legend Luis Suarez, who will turn 33 this January. As far as negotiations are concerned, talks with Inter started back in February and to date, no agreement between the clubs is found. The demands of Inter is the reason why Barcelona are still unable to come to terms with them. Lautaro Martinez has a release clause of €111M, but Barcelona does NOT intend to pay the clause anytime soon. But that doesn’t mean they have ruled him out completely.
Inter’s management has made it clear in the last couple of weeks through the media, that if Barcelona wants Lautaro then they should pay the clause. However, this seems to be a tactic from Inter’s side to make Barcelona overpay. The Catalan Club has overpaid for many players in the past, one example is Ousmane Dembele to Barcelona for €105M. Inter is open towards selling Lautaro Martinez as long as the offer is right and they have a proper replacement. Barcelona also wants players to be part of the deal, which is another problem. As of now the only player who is liked by Inter is Junior Firpo, but his value isn’t that high. Lautaro Martinez, on the other hand, has already agreed to terms with Barcelona over a contract until 2025 as per Mundo Deportivo’s Miguel Rico. He prefers a move to Barcelona. Talks between the clubs are currently on standby per Gianluca Di Marzio but are expected to resume soon. It’s too early to give a guarantee on Lautaro Martinez since things have become even more complicated, but it’s not over yet and anything is possible!
Other than Lautaro Martinez, the club also has Neymar on their transfer list. The Former Barcelona player had left the club in 2017 to join Paris-Saint-Germain for €222M. In his first few matches in France, he was happy and had enjoyed himself. But as time flew by, things weren’t the same and he had regretted his decision. He tried to force a way out last summer but he couldn’t get the move he wanted since Barcelona was unable to match the demands of PSG. But Barcelona is, yet again, interested in re-signing Neymar this summer despite knowing how complicated things have become because of the pandemic. Club President Josep Bartomeu is personally in favor of this signing, per ESPN.
Before March, Barcelona was “sure” that they’ll be able to sign the Brazilian Player in the summer, but things have become even more difficult now. The club is going through a financial problem, and other than players such as Lionel Messi, Marc Andre Ter Stegen, Ansu Fati, Antoine Griezmann, and Frenkie De Jong, they’re willing to consider offers. As things stand, they haven’t made any move for Neymar since they’re focusing only on Lautaro Martinez, but if they’re unable to sign the Argentine Striker, they might start to give attention towards Neymar. They cannot sign both of the players unless they sell the most expensive players from the squad and first balance the books. A Neymar return is complicated and unlikely, but it is a transfer that is still not completely ruled out yet.
The summer is still long and with the window possibly being a bit longer, the club wouldn’t rule out his return so soon. It’s very complicated and difficult but if they’re unable to sign Lautaro Martinez, a return for Neymar wouldn’t be impossible.
3) Miralem Pjanic
Nobody expected Pjanic’s name to show up in Barcelona’s list of summer targets. In April, Barcelona had begun talks with Juventus for Pjanic. The Italian Club was also very keen to sign Barcelona’s Arthur Melo, which is why the two clubs decided to do a swap-deal. Both clubs are in favor of this, but the decision of the players play a major role. Miralem Pjanic has agreed to join Barcelona and has no second doubts about it, amid interest from PSG and Chelsea. However, things aren’t the same when it comes to Arthur. The Brazilian has made himself clear in the last couple of weeks that he has NO intentions of leaving the club anytime soon, he sees his future in Barcelona and to date, he has the same intentions. Other than Arthur, there were plenty of other names who were mentioned in the discussions between the clubs.
Rakitic and Vidal were offered to Juventus, but the Italian Side was not interested. Todibo’s name was also mentioned. He was a player who interested Juventus even before the time he joined Barcelona. The Italian Side had contacted Todibo’s representatives a few weeks back, as per GOAL’s Romeo Agresti, but that’s all that’s known when it comes to Todibo and Juventus. Ousmane Dembele is ruled out of the equation, as per Fabrizio Romano. The player doesn’t intend to move anytime soon and just like Arthur, he sees his future only in Barcelona. Ansu Fati is also ruled out since Barcelona considers him as an untouchable. Talks between the clubs for Miralem Pjanic are constant, but an agreement is still yet to be found.
Barcelona is also expected to sign a full-back if Semedo/Firpo leaves. Junior Firpo interests Inter Milan, as mentioned earlier, and he could be part of the Lautaro Martinez operation. As for Semedo, if a club makes a good bid for the Portuguese Player, then they will consider it and let him go. Sergino Dest (Ajax) interests Barcelona and his arrival depends upon whether Semedo leaves the club or not. As of now, Barcelona wants to sell more players rather than buy new ones. They want to balance the books by selling players or adding some into player-exchange operations.
This coming summer will be a very different season regarding football transfers since many teams have suffered a financial setback. Clubs want to sell players which they don’t need anymore. Incredibly complicated transfers like Pogba to Real Madrid, Neymar to Barcelona, etc have become very unlikely since the clubs don’t have a lot of money to spend. There will be plenty of rumors now and then, but most of them will be nothing but just a rumor spread by an outlet for clicks. Although this summer will be pretty complicated for transfers and such, it will also be very interesting and different. One thing which I can personally say is that we can all expect big surprises!