There is a financial clean-up going on at Barcelona as the current board is looking to undo and lighten the heavy wage bill that the club is currently carrying. This has been met with a few rapid-fire departures being lined-up and the former La Liga champions are said to be looking to make full use of the remainder of this month as well.
Barcelona completed the signing of Ferran Torres in the fall of December but could not register the Spaniard until the 11th of January as there was no room on the wage bill. Mateu Alemany, the Sporting director, convinced Samuel Umtiti to agree to a contract extension without a pay-rise, one that would see his earnings until 2023 to be spread across to 2026. This would also allow the teams interested in signing the Frenchman to make a move for the World Cup winner as his wages are no longer an issue.
Barcelona are lining up the exits of Ousmane Dembele and Sergino Dest
Barca are currently negotiating a new contract with Ousmane Dembele, who has entered the final 6 months in his existing one. With that said, the two parties are said to be at an impasse with the player’s excessive financial demands proving to be off-putting for Barcelona. The player’s agents have not responded to Blaugrana’s latest offer and consequently, the club is looking to sell the French winger this month itself.
Dembele is also one of the highest earners in the current Barca squad and he is believed to have demanded a €20 million signing-on bonus in addition to €40 million wages per season. These are numbers that the former La Liga champions cannot even think of reaching in their current financial state.
Sergino Dest is another player that is likely to head through the exit door. Xavi does not seem to count on the young American fullback and with Chelsea in desperate need of a full-back, Dest has become a potential target for the Blues.
Chelsea said to be interested in signing the Barca duo
As in Dest’s case, Chelsea are interested in signing the former Ajax star, on a short loan. Barcelona have communicated to Chelsea that they are open to parting ways with Dest and Dembele on a permanent basis.
As per Spanish journalist, Javi Miguel, Barcelona are currently working on the departures of Dest, Dembele, and Memphis Depay. Depay started the season well for the former La Liga champions but has struggled since then and does not seem to fit in Xavi’s system.
This winter though, Dest’s exit is looking the most likely followed by Dembele’s. Thomas Tuchel is a fan of the latter and is speculated to be open to coaching him for the second time in his managerial career. The Cules are in the race to sign Erling Haaland next summer and are facing a race against time to free up funds to land the Norweigan star.
As it stands, the likes of Bayern Munich and Manchester United are also said to be interested in signing Dest and Dembele respectively.
It remains to be seen if Barca do finalize the duo’s exit this winter in their pursuit of lightening their seemingly heavy wage bill. The club has already finalized the exits of Philippe Coutinho (loan move to Aston Villa), Alex Collado (loan move to Granada), and Yusuf Demir (termination of loan). With the club also said to be working on the exits of Umtiti and Neto, the next 15 days assume even greater importance when it comes to Barca’s financial recovery.
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