Barcelona president Joan Laporta has been pulling financial levers like he’s a the Wizard of Oz and he’s now hoping to work some more magic on all the potential transfer deals his club are involved in as well. As luck would have it, some of those are in the Chelsea periphery as well.
First off, the Blaugrana will finally announce the signings of Franck Kessié and Andreas Christensen, both of whom are joining on free transfers, from AC Milan and Chelsea, respectively. Barca didn’t quite have the room in their budget to register the players with La Liga before, but now they’re evidently good to go.
“We will present Kessié on Wednesday and Christensen on Thursday.”
-Joan Laporta; source: Yahoo! Sport
But Laporta isn’t stopping there, and he believes that they can sign both Raphinha and (re-)sign Ousmane Dembélé, who officially became a free agent two days ago. They are reportedly set to match Chelsea’s offer for Raphinha, and are absolutely convinced — and probably with good enough reason — that the 25-year-old will choose them. Same goes for Dembélé, despite the lengthy stand-off over his contract renewal.
“[Dembélé] is a person that we appreciate a lot [and] the coach is very satisfied with him. It is an economic question, he has answered us without saying a yes or a no. We maintain a good relationship with the player and with the agents there is communication. If he accepts the conditions that we have presented, he will continue, if not, then no.
“We do not set deadlines for anything, not for signings, not for levers or anything. Now that we have activated the first lever, we’ve released quite a bit of pressure. We’re working hard, both for players and levers.”
“We have spoken with Leeds about Raphinha, we know that the player would also like to come to Barça, but there are also other clubs. It would not be exclusive with Dembélé, because the coach sees them as compatible.”
And Laporta isn’t even stopping there, and he’s strongly hinted at not only still signing Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich, but also keeping Manchester United and potential Chelsea target Frenkie de Jong — the latter by getting him to agree to a salary reduction! How many more levers are there?!
“Frenkie de Jong is a Barça player and is recognized as one of the best players in the world. We know of clubs that want him, not just United and we have no intention of selling him and the player, I get the impression, that he wants. He is comfortable at Barça and I am going to do what is in my power so that Frenkie stays.
“What is certain is that, and we would enter into another discussion, is that the salary levels of some players are not in line with the salary levels that the board of directors that I have the privilege of presiding over have set. But it is also a salary issue and it would have to adjust it”
-Joan Laporta; source: Mundo Deportivo
All is good in Barcelona’s hood then.