Gerard Piqué, Sergio Busquets and the chimera of 400 million

Gerard Piqué, Sergio Busquets and the chimera of 400 million

BarcelonaThe fourth economic lever served by Jaume Roures allowed Barça to register six tokens in time for their League debut against Rayo Vallecano. The milestone was celebrated as a miracle in the offices of the Camp Nou, where it was seriously feared that Robert Lewandowski, Ousmane Dembélé or Raphinha Dias, who would form the initial trident against the Madrid team, would not arrive in time. The work, however, could not be completed, since Jules Kounde had to be left off the list and neither could the new conditions of Ronald Araujo and the new contract of Gavi be counted in the current wage bill, which it is still to be signed even though it seemed that the only reason that prevented it was the footballer’s minor age: now the Andalusian is already 18 years old. In addition, the signing of Marcos Alonso is waiting in the freezer (the Madrid player is no longer training with Chelsea) and the club is combing the market to incorporate a right-back.

Ultimately, there is still homework to be done and the only way to present them before September 1st is to move forward with departures and salary adjustments. No more levers to activate: BLM’s will be saved for when the machinery is more oiled. And the board assumes that the annual expenditure of the first team cannot be reduced to the desired ratios. Not this summer.

Of all there is to sort out, the one that beats the most in the short term is Kounde’s record. The fourth lever only half covered the approximately 20 million that the registration of the French center needs between gross salary and amortization, so the management was not completed because it was impossible to close any deferment or reduction agreement with Sergio Busquets and Gerard Piqué before the debut in the League. Now, after the rush of the first day, the talks with the two captains are still stalled, not broken, and the parties hope to resume them.

The reformulation regarding the first captain is affected by his determination to leave Barça next summer. Busquets accepts another deferment — the fourth on the same contract — renewing until 2024 or 2025, but wants to secure a clause to break it in June 2023, which is when he plans to go to the United States. The one from Badia agrees to distribute the almost 50 million gross that the club owes him between salary and deferrals, it is no longer coming from here. The problem is that the League knows his intentions and does not give the green light to a contract that he knows will end in 2023 even if two more seasons are signed now. As a result of this interpretation, the employer would not stop computing the deferred amount as the wage bill for the current campaign. Therefore, Barça and Busquets will look for another solution to help with him fair play financial and they don’t even rule out that there is some financial resignation on the part of the player, who will not play in Anoeta on Sunday due to a penalty.

A backpack that is too heavy

Meanwhile, with Piqué, silence reigns over the reasons that have paralyzed the negotiation of a salary cut that was tied up a week ago. “We have to keep talking”, they argue from the sports area. “It’s a matter of money, not of Barcelonismo”, they show from the economic area. “With the fourth lever, it was no longer so necessary for the salary to be lowered”, they decide from another point in the Blaugrana offices. Few explanations to understand why last Wednesday the defender had a new document on the downside ready to sign until 2024 and, a day and a half later, while the fourth lever was being advanced with Jaume Roures, the talks were deadlocked. The only reality at the moment is that Piqué is still scheduled to receive 52 million euros gross this season in terms of the fee and the various deferrals that he agreed first with Bartomeu and later with Laporta. There is no player in the squad more expensive than him. And it doesn’t seem that starting as a fifth central player in the coach’s plans will lead him to rethink his continuity. In Inter Miami, one of the cities where Shakira values ​​living with her children, they do not expect her in the short term.

Since the inherited contracts will continue to impact the accounts until 2024 and 2025, the Barça board is very clear that it will not be possible to fulfill the forecast to reduce the wage bill to the 400 million that existed at the beginning of the summer, before the levers were activated. In fact, at the moment, the bill exceeds 600 million after the arrivals of Lewandowski and company and could go above 670, the last figure that Bartomeu predicted before the covid. This does not deter the Laporta government from pursuing the goal of 400 million. He will look for him when the agreements with the captains and with Ter Stegen are finalized. A De Jong and Lenglet (on loan now) expect to settle them in the form of a transfer before the expiry date of the documents.

With Jordi Alba, by the way, the club has not yet started any conversation to redefine his contract. He is willing to space amounts.


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