ANDhe Barcelona has experienced its most frustrating market in recent years this summer. The dramatic economic situation that the club is going through has left the sports management with no room for maneuver, which had to make a living as best it could. The final market movement summarizes the situation of a club whose future is more than uncertain.
The Barcelona gave Griezmann to the Atltico, a team that he reinforces again after he gave Luis Surez a gift last year. And the worst thing is that the replacement is Luuk de Jong, Sevilla’s third striker that Lopetegui did not have. It is true that Koeman loved him, but the team has gone from having Messi and Griezmann to having De Jong and Memphis in this market. The downturn is obvious.
There was no money for anything. The proof of this is that they had to incorporate three players at zero cost: Memphis, Eric Garca and Kun Agero. There were many rumors about future purchases, but the truth is that it was already known that little could be done. Barcelona became a mere observer of the market. Without the ability to maneuver, he saw how the big European clubs could spend a lot of money on reinforcements: City, PSG, Chelsea, United… Even a Real Madrid that put on the table 200 million for Mbapp. And the Bara watching.
The worst, however, was the Messi affair. Unable to sign a star, he did not even have the financial capacity to retain the best player in the world. Although Laporta spent half a summer ensuring that the renovation was progressing properly, when push came to shove, he had to back down.
It was a very tough blow, because of what it meant and because of the unexpectedness of it. The same day that Jorge Messi was going to sign the renewal agreement, Laporta told him that it was nothing. That there was no money and Leo had to go. The cry of the player in his farewell went around the world staging the drama that was being lived in Barcelona.
The market has also been frustrating because the sports management did not achieve one of the fundamental objectives that it had set at the beginning of the summer: release players that Koeman did not have. Many of them with exorbitant salaries, totally out of the market for what he was contributing to the team.
The most obvious case was that of Samuel Umtiti. The club had already tried unsuccessfully to place him in other windows and it seemed that in this one the footballer would agree to leave, but it was not like that. And the same happened with Coutinho, Pjanic or Braithwaite. For one reason or another, all three stayed on the team. Coutinho’s injury prevented the sale while in the case of the Bosnian nobody was willing to pay his very high token.