While the world cried Brokelona on Twitter, Joan Laporta and his administration did their best to raise money in one form or another in an attempt to ensure a successful summer transfer window.
They took the first step towards this by activating the first economic lever, selling 10% of their TV rights to Sixth Street for over €205 million for the next 25 years.
This was followed by a further 15% sale of TV rights to the same company, and even though the final transaction cost was undisclosed, it will probably reach over €450 million in total.
Barcelona have clearly put their future on the table by selling a large chunk of their broadcasting rights for the next quarter of a century. However, it is a high risk-high reward scenario.
There have been reports that Barcelona are planning to activate a third lever, in the form of the sale of 20-30% of Barça Studios, which could bring in an easy €200-250 million. Initially, Barça Licensing and Merchandise was being considered to be put up for sale, too.
Barcelona are trying to avoid activating said third lever, though, but are linked with the likes of Marcos Alonso, Cesar Azpilicueta, and even €100 million Bernardo Silva. So, we at Barça Universal take a look at three steps they must take before continuing to buy players.
The most obvious way Barcelona can both raise money and clear the squad for new players is through selling players. There are several assets in the first-team with a decent market value, and they must be offloaded as soon as possible.
Frenkie de Jong is on the top of that list, with an asking price of nearly €85 million. That quote has been met by Manchester United, who have agreed a €75 million + €10 million deal with Barcelona, only to be rejected by the player himself.
Apart from him, Memphis Depay is another player that can easily bring in €20 million should he choose to leave. He is a quality player on relatively low wages with a unique, yet varied skillset.
Juventus seem to be the only team with a concrete interest in him, even though their no. 1 priority is Alvaro Morata.
Riqui Puig is also not in Xavi’s plans for next season, and could fetch nearly €3-4 million if the right buyer is interested. The same goes for Miralem Pjanic and Neto.
Oscar Mingueza has already left the club, finalising a deal with Celta Vigo for an undisclosed fee.
Another, possibly much tougher way Barcelona can recruit more players is through contract terminations. It might take some extra money, but it takes some ludicrous wages off the book.
This includes players that possibly do not have a high market value, not enough suitors, and obviously no place in the team.
Samuel Umtiti is the first name that comes to mind. The Frenchman had a few teams interested in signing him, but has since scared off those parties because of his knee injury.
Barcelona would have had to let the defender leave on a free transfer way either way, and terminating his contract just makes the process much easier for everyone involved.
Neto could suffer the same fate if he continues to lock out offers like he has right now. Fortunately, though, the likes of Fulham and Napoli are seeking his signature, according to reports.
It seems Braithwaite will also join this list, as he is ready to leave the club in exchange of financial compensation.
Finally, the most difficult of them all – reduce salaries. It is more than likely that once Barcelona are done with the first two steps, there will be players who get filtered down to a group who need to reduce this salary.
Leading them will be de Jong, who has the highest salary in the squad, and could as much as nearly €30 million next season if he does not take a pay cut.
Ousmane Dembele and Sergi Roberto have reportedly already done their share, and the big guns – Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, and Jordi Alba could be next to follow suit.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen is among the highest earners in the team as well, but there are no reports of him leaving or taking a pay cut.