Laporta starts his Revolution in Barcelona. Following Barcelona’s defeat to Celta Vigo. Which eliminated them from contention for the LaLiga Santander title, the focus has shifted to the transfer market. Joan Laporta gets his first chance to decide on his re-election as president.
Fans are anxiously anticipating what he will do this time around after his initial term at the club was distinguished by daring and many market maneuvers. The Laporta show has some questions to answer.
He won’t achieve all he wants due to the club’s precarious financial state. But he must address two critical issues as soon as possible.
Is Koeman going to stay?
The first will impact the rest of the market, and it all boils down to whether or not Ronald Koeman will stay in Barcelona.
The Dutchman’s contract has one year left on it, but Laporta’s confidence has been shaken by his team’s dismal performance in the previous month, just as the season was about to come to a head.
Every day, there are rumors, but it’s worth remembering that presidents prefer to schedule their coaching appointments, even if it’s to claim the credit if things go well. In his first season in charge, Laporta made two such selections, recruiting Frank Rijkaard and Pep Guardiola.
Both coaches won the Champions League with Barcelona, which is why Laporta’s first season remember so fondly.
Can Messi be persuaded?
The second pressing concern for Laporta is Lionel Messi’s contract predicament. As things stand, he is free to depart on June 30, though he hasn’t started talking to other clubs yet. As he should have been able to do starting January 1.
Without the definitive results of the financial audit to identify the scope of the club’s economic problems. Laporta must make an offer to Messi that satisfies him both financially and in terms of the project.
Messi has no desire to be the highest-paid athlete in the world while playing for an ailing Barcelona squad. It must strike a balance, and this is where the president must intervene to persuade Messi.
What kind of reinforcements are on the way?
While a few transfers may directly impact Messi’s choice, Laporta will only begin reshaping the squad in earnest if the two difficulties above resolve.
Eric Garcia’s Bosman transfer has been pending for about a month, and he will officially declare as a Barcelona player after Manchester City’s Champions League final.
Memphis Depay has agreed to join the Blaugrana on a free transfer. But he will only play if Koeman remains the manager, despite Laporta’s reservations about the Lyon attacker.
There is also an agreement in principle to sign Sergio Aguero on a free transfer, but the Argentine will only sign if Messi stays at the Camp Nou.
Although these are the most high-profile acquisitions, they will not be the only ones. Barcelona must stick to a tight budget this summer, despite Laporta and the technical staff’s desire to add a goal-scoring striker.
Erling Haaland was an objective, but obtaining him is difficult, if not impossible, now that Borussia Dortmund has qualified for the Champions League next season. Alex Isak is a much more cost-effective option, and Barcelona has long admired the Real Sociedad teen.
Another midfielder who has previously worked closely with Koeman is Georginio Wijnaldum, whose Liverpool contract expires on June 30. He’d like to join Los Cules, but there’s a chance he won’t be able to do so if Koeman leaves.
The Blaugrana, like last summer, will need to sell certain players to earn finances and reduce their payroll bill.
Although it’s difficult to say who can leave this summer, Luis Suarez sacrificed in 2020.
If Ousmane Dembele refuses to agree to a contract extension, Laporta may sell him. At the same time, the arrival of Eric Garcia and the outstanding progress of Ronald Araujo might put any of Samuel Umtiti and Clement Lenglet in jeopardy.
On the other hand, Laporta will examine all offers for all players, with the message that nothing is off the table this summer. It’s going to be an adventure. Laporta starts his Revolution in Barcelona.