Barcelona has gone from being bankrupt to being the team to have spent the third most money on transfers in two weeks. It’s all thanks to the famous economic levers of Joan Laporta, who has unlocked the financial liquidity needed to make big-name signings. So far, Barcelona has signed a good number of players and with the transfer window open till the 1st of September, we can expect several new signings and departures.
Frank Kessie from AC Milan
The signing comes as no surprise but has finally been made official. Kessie joined the Catalans on a free transfer since his AC Milan contract expired at end of last season. Kessie has signed a four-year deal and has a €500 million buy-out clause. He has also made his first appearance as a Barca player in a friendly game against Olot. A good, physical box-to-box midfielder with a good ability of ball winning will surely prove to be important in Xavi’s side.
Andreas Christensen from Chelsea
The La Liga giants have bolstered their ranks by acquiring a player who spent 10 years at Stamford Bridge. The 26-year-old center-back had seen a switch to Catalunya speculated on from the moment it was revealed he would not be signing a new contract at Stamford Bridge. He was an important player in Tuchel’s 20-21 Chelsea squad which won the Champions League. Christensen is a left-footed center back and Barcelona has always struggled in that department. Christensen is quick and positional well equipped. With Barcelona having problems in defense for a long time, can this signing finally put an end to their struggle?
Pablo Torre from Racing Santander
The 19-year-old midfielder joins from Racing Santander and has signed a four-year deal. Pablo Torre was brought for a price of 5 million plus a few add-ons in variables. Xavi met with Torre to seal the deal over Real Madrid, and it seems that the manager himself was a factor in the final decision. Pablo Torre is an extremely talented attacking midfielder. He just finished an outstanding season in Racing Santander scoring 10 goals in 31 matches. He also provided 10 assists. But with no less talent already on Barca’s midfield, it will be exciting to see whether he can break into the first team.
Raphinha from Leeds United for 59 million
Barcelona has completed the signing of Raphinha after the Liga giants beat competition from Chelsea to sign the Brazil international from Leeds United. Raphinha is the latest addition to Xavi’s ranks. He (Xavi) seeks to bring the club back to the top in both domestic and European competitions. Raphinha enjoyed plenty of success cutting in from the right-hand side during his time at Leeds. But at Barcelona, he might be used in different roles. There would be serious competition from Ousmane Dembele and Ferran Torres in that position. Brazilians who have played for Barcelona have won over the fans of the club and Raphinha would be hoping to do the same.
Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich for 45 million
The biggest transfer till now, of the ongoing window. Barcelona has confirmed an agreement to sign Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich as Xavi’s rebuild at Camp Nou continues apace. The signing of one of the best Strikers in the world right now will surely bring more firepower to Barcelona’s attack. His finishing and positioning skills and presence in the box are expected to leave a mark in Blaugrana colors. The Polish international is a serial winner and brings with him much needed winning mentality and leadership skills to Barcelona.
The Renewal: Ousmane Dembele
Already playing for Barcelona, Ousmane Dembele has regained his form after coming back from another long injury. He proved himself to Xavi and won his confidence which made him get a new contract from the Blaugrana but with a salary deduction. With his pace and fine ability to dribble, he could be dangerous on both sides of the wings. Dembele renewed with Barcelona for 2 seasons till 2024.
After spending close to 100 million on arrivals Barcelona must shift its focus on departures otherwise its delicate financial situation will get even worse. Barcelona might find some difficulties in registering their new signings owing to the new LaLiga rules and regulations. Departures that have happened so far are,
Coutinho to Aston Villa for 20 million
Coutinho signing Barcelona had always been a mystery for Catalans. The ex-Liverpool man didn’t seem fit in the traditional Barcelona system. Coutinho struggled for minutes under every coach. He was even loaned for one season to Bayern Munich. Since Xavi’s arrival, he tried to fit Coutinho into his system that too unfortunately didn’t work out. Finally, in January 2022 Coutinho was loaned to Aston Villa where he reunited with ex-Liverpool teammate Steven Gerrard the duo instantly clicked on and Coutinho had an impact on the Villa team. Thus Aston Villa decided to activate the 20 Million clause under his contract and make the move a permanent one.
Clement Lenglet loaned to Tottenham Hotspurs
Next in line to leave Camp Nou was the French defender Lenglet. Lenglet after arrival from Sevilla back in 2018 was considered a decent signing. After having one good season Lenglet got defensive exposed and opposition attackers targeted him. He lost his place in the squad to Arajou and Eric Garcia under Xavi and he become 4th choice center-back. Since the arrival of Andreas Christensen, it was imminent that Lenglet will leave the club. Spurs under Conte is in rebuild mode and with their 5-back system, Lenglet seems to be the perfect player to fit in. Spurs will pay Lenglet full wages for the next year meaning one player goes off a soaring wage bill at Camp Nou.
Franisco Trincao loaned to Sporting CP
Trincao’s case at Barcelona is a peculiar one. The Portuguese winger joined Barcelona from Braga in July 2020 for a fee of 31 million. In his first season at Camp Nou, he wasn’t shown faith and confidence by then coach Ronald Koeman. Trincao struggled for minutes under Koeman. Then in 2021 seeing Koeman continue he was loaned to Premier League outfit Wolves on a season-long loan with the option to buy for 30 million. At Wolves, he had 30 appearances but could only score 4 goals. His performance promoted Wolves from not triggering his buyout clause meaning he was destined to return to Barcelona. At Barcelona, with the arrivals of Raphinha and Dembele renewal, he was deemed surplus and he was loaned to Sporting CP on 3 million fees and a conditional obligations clause for 7 million.
Two Barcelona B forwards Ferran Jutlga (5 million) and Rej Manaj (2.5 million) sold to Club Brugge and Watford respective for a combined fee of 7.5 million euros.
With the attack and midfield already looking good and settled. Barca will now look forward to strengthening their defense. Barcelona’s defense has been an area of concern for them over the years. For their defense reinforcements according to reliable journalists like Fabrizio Romano and Gerrad Romero Catalans are linked with Jules Kounde of Sevilla. According to them, Barcelona has placed an offer of 55 million plus a player deal for Jules Kounde to Sevilla. The Seville Club is yet to respond but it seems like this move will eventually happen in the coming days.
After strengthening their center-backs Barcelona too has targeted their full-back positions. For that Fullback slots, Barcelona is reported targeting the Chelsea full-back pairing. Cesar Azpilicueta, another Chelsea defender and their captain, is the favorite choice for that right-back spot. Spanish defender Marcos Alonso has been identified for the left-back position. According to reports Barca has already personal terms with both players and now working on a transfer fee and agreement with Chelsea.
Barcelona announced their squad for their US Tour and they few names missing. Barcelona had left out the likes of Neto, Martin Brathwaite, Riqui Puig, and Oscar Mingueza Samuel Umtiti. These players were given instructions that they were not in the coach’s plan for the season and must find a new home soon. So expect these players to leave Nou Camp soon even for a bargain price either permanently or on season-long loan deals.
Frenkie De Jong
One player whose future is still uncertain is the Dutchmen De Jong. It has been a saga throughout this window. The Premier League giants Manchester United behind De Jong since the arrival of their new coach Erik Ten Hag. Ten Hag demanded De Jong to be his first signing at Old Trafford. Since then Manchester United has reportedly submitted a few offers to Barcelona which might have been accepted ( according to reports) but the deal is at a Standstill from the player’s point of view. Frenkie De Jong has made it clear from day one that he has no interest in leaving Barcelona and he wants to fulfill his contract. Now it would be interesting to see what happens with the Dutchmen?
With the arrival of Robert Lewandoski and Raphinha Barcelona attack reached new heights. Now Barcelona has 8 attacking options which mean 2 might be sold. Martin Braithwaite is one for sure, the second one will mostly like be another Dutchman Memphis Depay. Depay joined Barcelona on a free transfer from Lyon last season. Depay joined decent first half but in the second half he was fallen out of favor and Aubamenyang replace him as no.9. It mostly like looks like Barcelona will look to offload Memphis to generate some funds and would accept any offer in the range of 20 to 25 million.
Another player who could make move away from Camp Nou is Pjanic. The midfielder was signed back in 2020 in a strange deal with Juventus which involved Arthur Melo joining the Old Lady. Pjanic never good relationship with then Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman. Koeman never gave Pjanic a proper chance to prove himself. He was always sidelined. Last Season Pjanic decided to move away from Camp Nou and joined Turkish side Besiktas on a season-long run. Now with the addition of Kessie and the possibility of De Jong staying the 32-year-old might be sacrificed and sold to generate some extra cash. According to reports, Barcelona might accept an offer in the range of 25 million for Pjanic.
Overall the transfers look great with the addition of big names such as Robert Lewandowski and Franck Kessie. The recruitments in the frontline and in Midfield are more than enough. Barcelona will now completely concentrate on strengthening its Defence. Barcelona will also have to work on departures too with some players who definitely will have to leave Nou Camp. The team looks great on paper but it would be interesting to see whether Xavi can bring out the true potential of each and every new signing along with existing players and whether he could create another golden era at Barcelona.\
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