Barcelona had a busy summer window on their hands ahead of the 2023/24 season, as they ended up signing five players, including Ilkay Gundogan, Inigo Martinez, Oriol Romeu, Joao Cancelo, and Joao Felix.
All of these cost them a grand total of €5 million, with Gundogan and Martinez free transfers, and Cancelo and Felix on loan from Manchester City and Atletico Madrid, respectively.
Both loan signings have adjusted rather well at the club already, with Felix scoring scoring three goals in his first three games for the club, and Cancelo already cementing himself as the starting right-back.
However, Barcelona will face a huge headache come summer, especially if they continue to perform as well.
Since the Catalans do not have the option to buy either player after their loan tenure, they will have to negotiate their permanent arrival, should they want to buy them.
Felix and Atletico Madrid
Felix has two starts for Barcelona so far this season, and has already won the official man of the match awards for both games, scoring one against Real Betis, and two against Royal Antwerp in the Champions League.
Atletico Madrid signed Felix for €130 million, and will be looking to get most of their investment back.
They loaned the player to Chelsea last season on an €11 million loan fee, but the Blues failed to shell out the €100+ Atleti demanded for his signature.
Barcelona will face a tough time haggling with Atletico for Felix’s services on a permanent move, with the Madrid outfit expected to demand nine figures.
Further, they are hoping to offload him to an English club so as to avoid strengthening a direct rival, and to get better financial compensation for the Portuguese.
That said, he is not a part of Diego Simeone’s plans for the future and the club were desperate to offload him in the summer.
In fact, they tried to loan Felix with the hopes of getting a loan fee from a club, but after failing, let him go to Barcelona. Atletico are also paying majority of his salary currently.
Cancelo and Manchester City
Signing Cancelo will be easier than signing Felix for Barcelona. The Portuguese is not on the best of terms with Pep Guardiola, and left the club last season on loan to join Bayern Munich, who did not end up buying the player for the €70 million optional price in the contract.
While his price will be much cheaper this transfer window, with City not looking to keep him at the club at any cost, they will not accept a lowball offer from Barcelona, especially with his contract running until 2027.
“Barcelona is a club I’ve always wanted to be at, it’s the club of my dreams after having played for my childhood team, which was Benfica,” Cancelo said recently.
His desire to play for Barcelona could end up being the only bargaining chip for the club in the summer.
That said, all these problems are still nearly a year away, with the entire season still left to be played.