Barcelona president Joan Laporta has provided an insight into the Catalan giants’ summer plans by listing the team’s positions of need.
Despite their significant financial limitations, Barca has reinvented itself under its manager, Xavi. The former club legend has led the Blaugrana to the top of La Liga, with a healthy lead over Real Madrid.
The club achieved this after a summer transfer window where they activated various economic “levers”. These freed-up short-term funds as FFP limitations and club debt continue to loom over Camp Nou.
FFP came back to restrict Barcelona during the January transfer window. A block by La Liga chief Javier Tebas meant that the Catalan side did not have enough leeway with which to buy new players.
Additionally, it made handing new contracts to the likes of Gavi tricky.
Per Forbes, Barca must reduce their wage bill by €200 million before making any new purchases. However, Joan Laporta disagrees, stating that Barcelona will be active in the summer.
During a press conference, the club president also detailed which positions he wants to strengthen.
Joan Laporta outlines Barcelona transfer plans
Laporta admitted that the salary restrictions would make signings “difficult” – but not impossible.
“We need to sign a right-back and then a centre-back depending on market opportunities,” said the Barca chief, via The Athletic. “We’d do what we can.
“Yes, we probably would need a striker, but someone would have to leave first. In midfield, we are in a good place. Also, we have players coming through La Masia that will make it into the first team.”
Joan Laporta then stressed the importance of using the club’s famed academy system. La Masia has produced some of Barca’s greatest-ever players, such as Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi.
“That’s something Xavi has to do too – promote young players,” added Laporta. “A new striker would fit, but we don’t have bottomless resources like state-owned clubs. We have to remain prudent.”
So, Barcelona are looking to revamp their defence and add something extra in attack. Curiously enough, though, the Blaugrana already have one of the stingiest defences in Europe. Barca have conceded just eight goals in La Liga, comfortably the lowest number of goals shipped in Spain.
Meanwhile, in attack, Robert Lewandowski leads the division in scoring. Although it has to be said that another regular goal-getter would be a benefit.
Laporta’s Wishlist comes after speculation that Barca may look to swipe from their former manager’s current club.
Barcelona linked to array of Man City stars
According to Spanish publication SPORT, Man City may have to fend off a raid from FC Barcelona. The La Liga leaders have up to five players from the Etihad on their summer shortlist.
Most heavily linked so far is Spanish international Aymeric Laporte. Rumours suggest that the defender is pondering a change of scenery – with Barcelona at the front of the queue. They feel a left-footed centre-half is a position of need, so Laporte is a top-class option to fill this gap.
Elsewhere, a trio of Pep Guardiola’s midfielders at Man City are on Barca’s radar. These are Bernardo Silva, Ilkay Gundogan, and Rodri. It is unlikely they get all three, though, given the club’s spending limitations.
More than anything, Laporta’s comments tell us that we can expect a fascinating transfer window in Catalonia once more.
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