Barcelona president Joan Laporta refused to rule out a late bid for Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva after confirming the club had secured another 100m euros of extra revenue with a new asset sell-off.
Barça coach Xavi has told the club he wants the 27-year-old Portugual international and when Laporta was asked if a bid was still possible, he said: ‘First we have to register the players we have so far signed. And then we will see what can be done if the coach asks for more players.
‘It’s a long summer. [The market] doesn’t finish until August 31. We have to register the new signings and hopefully we can do that before August 13 (when the Spanish season starts). Then we will see what happens. It could be that there is another signing.’
Barcelona could bid for Manchester City winger Bernardo Silva after selling off more assets
Barcelona are in constant contact with La Liga regards their permitted squad spend. They believe it should now rise considerably after they sold off 25 per cent of future TV rights over the next 25 years to investment fund Sixth Street.
Laporta said: ‘We are doing all they ask of us. I imagine they [La Liga] will not block us [from registering players]. I hope La Liga interprets things in the same way as we have. If they don’t then we will have to find a solution.’
Barça’s asset sell-offs are being referred to as economic ‘levers’ by Laporta and on Monday he confirmed that a third lever was ready to be pulled.
He said: ‘We have sold 25 per cent of TV rights and we have sold 25 per cent of Barça Studios to socios.com for 100m euros. We are doing what we can to be able to register players.’
The Spanish league has obliged Barcelona to sell players and reduce their wage bill, or increase revenue. And in the face of difficulty over selling players on huge contracts they have turned to asset sales.
Socios.com is the company behind the fans tokens app that enables supporters to buy tokens using crypto currency that will then give them the chance to influence some of the decisions the club makes.
Joan Laporta has defended the club’s use of so-called economic levers to help fund their plans
Laporta defended the club’s use of these so-called economic levers. He said: ‘It’s not something frivolous. We have done it to save the club and incorporate new players. Hopefully we will not have to activate more levers. If we have to then we will consider it. The risk is controlled.’
Barcelona’s pursuit of Silva will only be stepped up if the club are successful in pushing out Frenkie de Jong. ‘We are working on players leaving,’ said Laporta, ‘but it is not easy.’
De Jong was given a massive contract by previous Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu and is due to earn 20m net this coming season and as much as 25m euros the following campaign.
If Barça can sell him for the £70m they paid for him in 2019 and bring in Silva they will do it. The Manchester City midfielder could end up costing as much as Barcelona get for De Jong but he will earn a fraction of the Dutch international’s projected wages.
Any Barca move for Silva would be reliant on the club selling players like Frenkie de Jong
De Jong continues to insist he wants to stay, and Barcelona are in on-going talks with La Liga to see if they need to sell him in order to register players or if the three economic levers so far activated having sufficiently changed their total squad spend allowance in order to register their new signings.
Laporta was speaking at the presentation of Jules Kounde on Monday. He also mentioned the possibility of re-signing Lionel Messi next summer.
He had talked up the possibility recently despite skepticism in Barcelona that damaged relations could be sufficiently repaired to make a deal next summer possible.
Laporta stepped back slightly from the stance he had previously adopted saying: ‘I am not going to talk about it because he is a PSG player. I was asked about it in the United States where things were a bit more relaxed. We will see. We have a moral debt that we owe Leo.’