The latest rumours in Spain have linked Alvaro Morata to Barcelona. But how would that work with Barca’s dire finances?
Barcelona are still recovering from the economic meltdown caused by the Bartomeu administration. The club hit rock bottom last summer with Leo Messi’s farewell. It’s been a slow recovery since then, but things are looking up.
The Azulgranas have had to make the most out of their academy after a frugal summer transfer window. They mostly went after players without a contract, including Memphis Depay and Sergio Aguero.
However, a substantial loan from Goldman Sachs has allowed Barcelona to start transfer talks for established stars again.
They’re out of the woods yet though. Hamstrung by La Liga’s salary cap, Barcelona will need to get rid of a few players to register new star signing Ferran Torres.
Why Alvaro Morata to Barcelona makes sense
A move bringing Alvaro Morata to Barcelona wouldn’t be without its issues. However, Barcelona desperately need fresh blood in attack.
Barca’s squad is particularly thin up front. In the past few months, they have seen Messi departing to Paris, Aguero retiring prematurely, and Griezmann completing a last-minute move to Atlético.
It hasn’t helped that Depay and Dembelé have all missed several games due to injury. The latter might even leave the club this January.
Xavi is reportedly interested in acquiring versatile centre-forwards, and Morata fits the bill. He started his career as a left-winger in the Real Madrid academy and only moved to the number-nine position once Gonzalo Higuain left Real.
The past season saw Morata moving away from the centre-forward position again. Sharing attacking duties with Cristiano Ronaldo, he had one of the best years in his career. He scored 20 goals and gave out 13 assists.
Barcelona will try to capitalise on Juventus’s disappointing season to buy Morata. At the moment, they are fifth on the Calcio table, 12 points behind Inter Milan.
Juventus have been linked to Arkadiusz Milik, who is struggling at Olympique Marseille this season. Sassuolo’s Gianluca Scamacca is another potential transfer target for the bianconeri.
What do the numbers look like?
Morata’s transfer to Barcelona could be a tricky one. To start with, he is under contract with Atletico. Juventus acquired him on loan in 2020 and are expected to pay €40m for him at the end of this season.
There’s also an unexpected guest to the party: Antoine Griezmann.
Barcelona loaned the Frenchman out to Atletico under the agreement that they would receive a fixed amount for him the following year.
Because of Griezmann’s loan, Atletico are expected to pay Barcelona €40m next summer. That’s the exact amount that Juventus would give Atleti for Morata.
There’d be a lot of paperwork involved, but the transfer would effectively be a Morata-for-Griezmann swap. Morata could join Barcelona on loan this January, with the teams sorting out the transfer fees in the summer.
There is another possible scenario. Goal has just reported that Juventus have no interest in exercising their buying option for Morata.
For Juventus to be a part of the deal, Barca would have to offer Memphis Depay as a bargaining chip.
Reports suggest that Barcelona are keen on Depay leaving the club, as Xavi is not a fan. However, Juventus would need reassurance that the Dutchman’s injury problems are beyond him. Depay’s hamstring injury has kept him on the sidelines for the past month.
And there is yet another obstacle. Xavi wants Morata, but not at any price.
For the transfer to work, the Spaniard would need to substantially lower his wages. Barca wouldn’t be happy to have Morata’s yearly €10m salary added to their payroll.
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