The favourite to win the next Barcelona presidential elections, Victor Font, has ruled out trying to re-sign Neymar and the interim board have laid-off club legend Carles Rexach from his advisory role so no one at Barcelona needs to be reminded that the financial fall-out from the coronavirus continues to hit the club hard.
That is why there is also a growing realisation that any chance the club has of signing Eric Garcia and Memphis Depay in January will depend entirely on their ability to offload four players when the window opens.
Font said on Monday that Neymar might fit the club’s sporting needs but he did not fit the economic roadmap out of the current situation. And with coach Ronald Koeman wanting Manchester City’s 19-year-old centre-back and Lyon’s Dutch striker in January, he knows it will only happen if new clubs are found for Samuel Umtiti, Junior Firpo, Martin Braithwaite and Matheus Fernandes.
Barcelona’s cut-backs continued in earnest on Monday with club legend Carles Rexach let go.
La Vanguardia reported that the club’s former player and coach – who had spent more seasons in the first team as a player, from 1965 to 1981, than any other player except Xavi and Lionel Messi – was to stand down from his position as assessor to the board.
With the pandemic reducing the club’s income from last season by 300 million euros [£269m] and talks over 191m euros [£171m] cut in the wage bill currently stalled, there is no chance that Koeman will be given the two players he believes the team needs to make them competitive through to the end of the season unless others can be edged out.
A new deadline has been set for November 23 for players to agree to proposals that would postpone payments due to them at the start of the year.
But some players are still understood to object to the idea of having to reach an agreement with what remains a very temporary board and a friendly settlement can still not be taken for granted.
There is also some discord over the decision to delay elections until January 24 when a Christmas election had originally been suggested as a way of getting the club’s new president installed ahead of the crucial month of January when the window opens.
There is not much optimism about the club’s chances of moving on the four for-sale players. Barcelona paid Leganes 18m euros [£16.15m] for forward Braithwaite and are unlikely to find a buyer willing to match that price.
He has made just four starts since arriving, scoring once, and he wants to stay because he believes as the only centre-forward in the squad he can still provide Koeman with solutions he does not have elsewhere
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