Xavi Hernández, signings, dismissals and unfulfilled wishes

Barcelona“I’m relieved”. Sincere as always, Xavi Hernández prioritized the feeling of rest over that of satisfaction at this Friday’s press conference when he was asked to take stock of the transfer market, which closed on Friday morning. The Barça coach is celebrating being able to finally focus on the game and not having to manage, inside and outside the dressing room, the uncertainty typical of the transfer period. However, it was not enough to praise the “excellent” work of Mateu Alemany and Jordi Cruyff, who have achieved seven goals and worked hard so that almost all the discarded players accepted that they had to leave. Of course, he accompanied the praise with a couple of points. On the one hand, he recognized the lack of “some piece”, in implicit reference to César Azpilicueta and Bernardo Silva. And, on the other hand, he stressed that the club’s effort to strengthen the staff is not only to benefit his work. “It’s for Barça”, he concluded, aware that the pressure to win, after so much risky heritage, will mainly be for him.

The last day of the market served to confirm the departure of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The fee that frees the Gabonese, added to the capital gain generated by a sale valued at 12 million euros, allows the arrival on the horn of the two sides that the technicians had been waiting for weeks. Two players who land for the short term (they only sign for one season) and who will have to earn continuity on the pitch. The last to sign was Marcos Alonso, who has served Chelsea to cheapen the operation of Auba. The Madrid player was out of contract next summer with them blues and his freedom has cost in fact five million that Barça will no longer charge for the forward’s transfer, an amount that, of course, will not have to be amortized. Easier to understand is the signing of Héctor Bellerín, who will try to respond to the specific profile that Xavi asked for on the right side of the defense. He arrives free and eager to please.

Xavi wants Alba close

Bellerín will fight for minutes mainly with Sergi Roberto, a product of La Masia three generations older than him, while Alonso will compete with two pieces of opposite profiles: the very young Alejandro Balde and the veteran Jordi Alba. When they asked him for the Hospitalet winger, who was linked with Inter Milan in the last hours of the market, Xavi was meridian: “I want Jordi here. I have a lot of affinity for it. I never thought it would come out. He is a leader, one of the captains. He will help us whether he plays or not.” Alba, replacing the last two League games, will have more competition than ever since he landed at Barça in 2012 and will have to get used to combining tenures with substitutes. He and Piqué are two captains who will feel the weight of the years when counting minutes. Instead, Busquets resists on paper in Xavi’s first unit. None of the three have agreed with the club on a reduction in terms. Their contracts will have an impact on this season’s wage bill of around 130 million euros between the fee they have to collect and the one they differed in previous campaigns.

Nor have the financial conditions of Marc-André ter Stegen or Frenkie de Jong been touched up. Both the German and the Dutchman have withstood pressure coming from the board, which even called their growing contracts flagrantly fraudulent. De Jong’s refusal to leave has sponsored the impossibility of signing Bernardo Silva, who has stayed at Guardiola’s City. This move also reassures Gavi, who will renew more calmly after knowing that he will have to compete with the Dutch and not with the Portuguese. The Andalusian is expected to sign his first professional contract when the League and Barça review the salary cap again after the registration of Marcos Alonso.

Seven signings, two new contracts and eighteen resignations

In total, the Barça market ends with seven new additions. We sort them by price.

  • Raphinha Dias. 58 million fixed + 12 variables. Contract for five seasons.
  • Jules Kounde. 50 million fixed + 10 variable. Contract for five seasons.
  • Robert Lewandowski. 45 million fixed + 5 variables. Contract for four seasons.
  • Franck Kessie. Free transfer. Contract for four seasons.
  • Andreas Christensen. Free transfer. Contract for four seasons.
  • Mark Alonso. Free transfer, but valued at 5 million minus the sale of Aubameyang. Contract for one season.
  • Hector Bellerin. Free transfer. Contract for one season.

Barça has made two new contracts. To Sergi Roberto, who signed for one season, and Ousmane Dembélé, renewed for two seasons.

As for the losses, the only ones that have left money in the box are those of Aubameyang (12 million), Philippe Coutinho (20) and Trincao (transfer for 3). Nico González, Dest, Umtiti, Collado, Abde and Lenglet have left on loan; terminated, Riqui Puig, Braithwaite, Neto, Manaj, Mingueza and Wague, and not renewed, Alves, Luuk de Jong and Adama.

Source: Ara.cat – Portada by www.ara.cat.

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