Barcelona president Joan Laporta has warned clubs hoping to take advantage of the club’s difficult financial situation that there is no chance of the Catalan giants selling key youngsters Pedri, Ansu Fati, or Frenkie de Jong.
Laporta spoke at a press conference on Monday and revealed the extent of Barcelona’s enormous debt which he described as “very worrying,” as reported by BBC Sport.
“Our salaries represent 103% of the club’s total income, that’s 20-25% more than our competitors,” he said. “The first thing we had to do when we arrived was to ask for a loan of 80m euros because, otherwise, we could not pay the salaries. The previous regime was full of lies. Barcelona has a negative net worth of 451m euros – it is a terrible inheritance. What has been happening is very worrying.”
However, Laporta also sought to reassure supporters that the club will not allow any key players to follow Lionel Messi out of the exit door, even if attractive offers arrive, as reported by The Athletic’s Dermot Corrigan.
Laporta explained, “We are not thinking of selling names like Pedri, Ansu Fati or De Jong, not even for huge sums. Other players we are looking to move out. But the market is what it is.”
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Barcelona’s Future Looks Bright?
There’s no doubt it’s been a tumultuous summer at Barcelona. Messi’s departure sent shockwaves through the football world, while the club’s financial mess has meant big-name signings look unlikely for some time.
Yet the amount of promising youngsters at the club offers real reasons for optimism. De Jong only turned 24 in May but is already an essential player for the Catalan giants and put in another impressive showing in Sunday’s 4-2 La Liga win over Real Sociedad.
Fellow midfielder Pedri has also become a key player for Barcelona despite only arriving at the club a little over 12 months ago. The 18-year-old has become indispensable for club and country and has already won the Copa del Rey with Barca and an Olympic silver medal with Spain.
Meanwhile, Ansu Fati is arguably Barca’s brightest star of all. The teenager burst onto the scene in sensational style in 2019-20 but missed most of last season because of a serious knee injury. The teenager is expected to make his long-awaited return in September.
Laporta Planning To Trust in La Masia Again
Barca’s financial difficulties mean the club is likely to rely on youth once again with the trio expected to play a big part in the club’s future. Laporta added that he wants the club’s youth academy to continue developing top prospects, as reported by Yahoo.
“A new era is beginning. The short-term prospects are complicated, but in the medium-term they are magnificent,” he added. “We are going to bet on La Masia, which will allow us to develop the model we want.”
Youngsters such as Gavi, Nico Gonzalez, Ronald Araujo, and Yusuf Demir are currently on the fringes of the first team and will be hoping to make the breakthrough in 2021-22.
Center-back Gerard Pique is already confident the young players can succeed at Barcelona, as reported by Marca. He said, “Nico and Gavi are very good, at a very high level. We have Demir, Eric, Ansu … There is a great future in the club.”
Barcelona’s La Masia academy used to be the envy of the world, after producing stars such as Messi, Xavi, and Andres Iniesta, but the supply of youngsters to the first team has dwindled in recent years.
However, the academy does appear to be stacked once again with a host of impressive young talents which will be needed as Barca start a new era at the club without Messi.