Barcelona’s members have approved the sale of merchandising and television rights, giving their summer transfer plans a boost – but what does it mean for the futures of Frenkie de Jong and Robert Lewandowski?
The Spanish club’s financial problems have been well documented but, following three years of recorded losses, there is hope at Barcelona that they can now end the year in profit following this latest development.
La Liga’s salary cap is currently preventing Barcelona registering free agent signings Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie following the expiry of their respective contracts at Chelsea and AC Milan.
Despite that, Barcelona are understood to be keen on signing Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski and Chelsea duo Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso, with reports in Spain suggesting Sevilla defender Jules Kounde and Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva are also on their shortlist.
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Robert Lewandowski – a key Barca target this summer – reveals his plans to leave Bayern Munich
It was unclear how many of their targets Barcelona could afford this summer prior to Thursday’s vote due to their financial constraints.
The sale of Frenkie de Jong to Manchester United has been mooted as a way of raising funds for other targets, with talks between the clubs ongoing and Erik ten Hag keen to reunite with the former Ajax midfielder at Old Trafford.
Spanish football expert Alvaro Montero has sat down with Sky Sports News to explain what to expect from Barcelona following this latest development…
How much money could this bring in for Barca?
“Yesterday the Barcelona board members proposed to sell 49.9% of BLM, a company that started in July 2018 four years ago. It’s the company that runs the business of retail of the club, especially merchandising. With this operation they expect to earn between €200 and €300 million. This was approved by the majority of the assembly of Barcelona yesterday.
“The Barcelona board members decided to sell or to give the 25% of the TV rights for the next years.
“Across both operations, they expect to earn between €600 and €700 million in the next years. It will be good for them to resolve their financial problems.
“It’s the only way for football club Barcelona to resist and to keep on fighting economically.”
What does this mean for Barca’s Lewandowski pursuit?
“Inside the club, everybody says that Robert Lewandowski is the No 1 target. They say off the record that the player wants to sign for Barcelona. In fact it is said in Catalonia and here in Spain that Robert Lewandowski has refused teams like Chelsea or Paris Saint-Germain.
“But it’s not only Robert Lewandowski, it’s the possibility of signing players such as Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta from Chelsea, Jules Kounde and Bernardo Silva.
“I believe Bernardo Silva is going to depend on what happens with Frenkie de Jong because we all know that Frankie de Jong is wanted by Manchester United. We’ve been speaking in the last weeks about those famous €70-€80 million maybe plus bonuses, which seems exactly the same amount Manchester City will ask for Bernardo Silva.
“The feeling inside Barcelona is that Bernardo Silva wants to play for them, wants to play in Barcelona, wants to come to the Nou Camp. I’m not sure about this, but it is said that the player has been speaking with Manchester City and Pep Guardiola, asking them to listen – at least listen – to Barcelona’s offers. So maybe there is some possibility if Frenkie de Jong leaves Barcelona for Manchester United, Bernardo Silva could arrive.
“But not only Kounde, not only Alonso, not only Azpilicueta, target No 1 is Robert Lewandowski and with this financial engineering it seems that Robert Lewandowski could be closer.”
Will De Jong end up at Man Utd?
“I have said he will play for Manchester United for two reasons. Firstly, he knows the Erik ten Hag wants him, it’s his desire. It’s Manchester United knocking on his door, an amazing club in the Premier League.
“Apart from the recent Bernardo Silva interest, there is an economical problem and Barcelona believe Frenkie de Jong is the player with the most market value and the one they can earn more money from. We are speaking about €70-€80 million, which is a lot nowadays.
“I will say it’s a huge possibility for Frenkie de Jong to leave the club, although he has said to Barcelona and with his national team, the Netherlands, that he wants to stay in Barcelona. But Manchester United is a big option, so I would say it’s very close, especially because Frenkie de Jong understands Barcelona’s bad economic situation.”