BARCELONA FINANCES Q&A: Can they now sign Robert Lewandowski?

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Joan Laporta and his board were still celebrating as midnight chimed on Thursday after Barcelona members voted to allow the club to sell off assets that could bring in around € 600m (£ 514m).

Sportsmail asks if there is much to celebrate, if this means the club can now sign Robert Lewandowski, forget about selling Frenkie de Jong, and outbid Chelsea for Jules Kounde.

Where is the £ 514m coming from?

Laporta says he has a bid for € 200m (£ 171m) for Barça Licensing and Merchandising (BLM) – the club shops basically. And he says there are investment funds that want to buy up to 25 per cent of future TV rights for the next 25 years.

He says he will sell 10 per cent for € 200m (£ 171m).

Members voted to sell 49.9 per cent of the club's retail arm Barcelona Licensing and Merchandising as well as part of their TV rights which will boost transfer funds this summer

Members voted to sell 49.9 per cent of the club’s retail arm Barcelona Licensing and Merchandising as well as part of their TV rights which will boost transfer funds this summer

So if the club sell 20 per cent that’s € 400m (£ 343m). Add the € 400m and the € 200m (£ 171m) and that € 600m (£ 514m).

Can we be sure the £ 514m is actually coming?

The deals still need to be done, and before the end of June. Laporta says they are in place but until they are signed Barcelona’s position does not change.

Let assume they get the money. What then?

It ought to mean LaLiga lets them buy and sell players normally like other clubs instead of applying what is called Article 100 which means they have to make four euros to spend one (or in some cases make three to spend one).

Why does them having £ 514m more get them out of Article 100?

It might not.

Twice a year LaLiga gives each club a salary cap. In basic terms it worked out like this: ‘You make € 500m (£ 428m), your non-football costs are € 200m (£ 171m), so you can spend € 300m (£ 257m) on wages.’

Barça are the only club in LaLiga with a negative salary cap of minus- € 144m (£ 123m).

With an additional € 600m (£ 514m), the minus- € 144m (£ 123m) would become plus- € 456m (£ 391m). But the wage bill is currently € 560m (£ 480m) so they would still be over their limit and tied to Article 100.

Barcelona members have voted through a proposal that will raise some much needed funds

Barcelona members have voted through a proposal that will raise some much needed funds

So they are not out of trouble then?

No, they still need to cut the wage bill. Or make € 700m (£ 599m) ​​from the sales of these assets instead of € 600m (£ 514m). Laporta has said it’s between 600 and 700.

Can they now get Lewandowski?

They want him signed by July 15 so they can take him on their US tour.

Bayern are holding out for € 40m (£ 34m) euros. He wants to come and it’s been rumored he will not return to Munich for pre-season training on July 8.

He has been living in a home he owns in Mallorca although he is rumored to be now off to Turkey.

His transfer is dependent on Laporta getting the deals – that supporters have now said he can do – done.

Barcelona want Robert Lewandowski and these deals can help them get closer to the striker

Barcelona want Robert Lewandowski and these deals can help them get closer to the striker

Did they still need to sell De Jong?

They still want to cut the wage bill from € 560m (£ 480m) to € 400m (£ 342m). And they still believe that getting rid of De Jong, who they will have to pay around € 20m (£ 17m) gross next season, is a good way to do that because he will also bring in a huge fee. But he still does not want to leave.

Ultimately, someone has to leave.

Neto, Clement Lenglet, Samuel Umtiti, Martin Braithwaite, Miralem Pjanic are those that the club want to leave first but they are still in contract and do not want to leave.

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The alternative is sell players such as Sergino Dest or De Jong.

On the plus side they have a market. On the downside they will need replacing.

The other alternative is that players take a further salary cut but wages have already been deferred and need to be paid this season.

Can they sign Kounde?

The fee wouldn’t necessarily be a problem because if they give him a six-year deal then they can pay the € 60m (£ 51.4m) price over that time. But they can not compete with Chelsea in terms of wages.

It may be that the player prefers Barcelona. But does he prefer Barcelona to the point where he’ll play for half what he can earn at Chelsea?

Hmmm.

Jules Kounde (left) likes Barcelona but they can not compete with Chelsea with his wages

Jules Kounde (left) likes Barcelona but they can not compete with Chelsea with his wages

Will they sign Bernardo Silva?

If they sell De Jong they will need to sign a midfielder but Carlos Soler would be a far cheaper option. This looks very unlikely unless City were interested in De Jong.

Will Azpilicueta arrive?

It’s starting to look like probably not.

If Chelsea let him leave for free, it’s a possibility.

Xavi phoned him last January asking him to come in the winter window. He said he would not contemplate leaving mid-season. But a one-year extension to his contract was automatically triggered last season so he is no longer a free agent.

With new people in charge at Chelsea there does not seem to be much chance that his automatic renewal can be torn up allowing him to go for nothing and Barcelona want free-transfers (Lewandowski and possibly Soler aside).

It looks increasingly unlikely Cesar Azpilicueta will swap Chelsea for Barcelona this summer

It looks increasingly unlikely Cesar Azpilicueta will swap Chelsea for Barcelona this summer

And Marcos Alonso?

More of the same but less of a priority.

If Chelsea let him leave for free it is possible. But he has a year left on his deal.

Barcelona do not need him as much as they need Azpilicueta because Jordi Alba plays 30-plus games a season on the left and he has a contract until 2024.

Will Dembele stay?

It’s an interminable game of who blinks first.

Barça hope he fails to find another club and accepts the offer they have made him.

The player’s representatives hope with the improved state of the finances Barcelona can pay him a signing on fee.

More out than in as things stand but it could fall either way.

Barcelona want Ousmane Dembele to fail in finding another club so he takes their latest offer

Barcelona want Ousmane Dembele to fail in finding another club so he takes their latest offer

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