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Camp Nou

How is FC Barcelona leading the transfer market in Europe?

Martina Kostadinova
by Martina Kostadinova

No one would dare to bet on FC Barcelona a couple of months ago to be filling the covers of newspapers for their current activity in the transfer market of football players.

With the recent officialization of the arrivals of Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski, the Catalan club is causing a major earthquake on fans all over the world that are eager to see an improvement in the performances of the team next year. The improvement of the club’s situation can even be seen in the odds of the best sports betting sites in NZ where Barcelona is improving its chances of securing a title next season. Besides matchday odds, fans can also bet on the outcome of title challenges and can bet on who they think will win every major trophy for practically any European football league.

It was only a couple of weeks ago that the club registered losses of 555 million euros in 2021, being this the biggest registered loss in the accounts of a football club in all history. The club is filled with short- and long-term debts and everyone remembers how Lionel Messi had to pack his bags to leave the club of his life because they couldn’t afford to renew his contract.

But it seems that even with the institutional crisis that resulted in poor results on the pitch in the last 2 seasons, FC Barcelona continues to be a very attractive club for the biggest football stars on the planet.

Chelsea was one of the clubs that were competing with Barça to secure the services of Brazilian winger Raphinha. Everything was agreed between Chelsea and Leeds for a transfer valued at almost 70 million euros, but the player didn’t make the medical checkups. His agent, the former Barça player, Deco, took a flight to Barcelona to let the club know about his player’s interest and the club decided to make a final effort for the Brazilian.

Raphinha’s dream was to play in the Camp Nou and his wishes turned into reality as Barça secured the transfer for almost 60 million euros according to transfermarkt, less than what Chelsea was offering.

raphinha barcelona celebrating a goal

This transfer could have consequences for other teams, as now Leeds has the financial lever to go for Charles de Ketelaere, a 21-year-old forward from club Bruges who was closely followed by AC Milan, a European powerhouse. The money from Raphinha could make a difference in the race for the Belgium’s services, and this is all a consequence of Barcelona’s activity.

The arrival of Robert Lewandowski could also unblock the negotiations in other clubs around Europe. First of all, Bayern Munich will have to look for a replacement for the Polish striker, who netted more than 50 goals in the last 3 seasons. And then Juventus, who will probably get the money they were asking Bayern for the Dutch central defender, Matthijs De Ligt, set to secure his move to the German giants.

Another question is how can Barcelona be making all these acquisitions, subdued to LaLiga’s restrictions of being able to spend only 1 euro per every 3 euros on income after they registered losses for the previous season.

And it seems as if the club has finally entered the last steps of the negotiations to sell 49% of the shares of Barça Studios, another part of their merchandising rights, and finally, between 15% and 20% of their TV rights.

FC Barcelona is currently on tour in the United States for their preparation for next season and it’s expected that club president, Joan Laporta, will finalize the sale of the TV rights to an American company.

For the moment, Barcelona is managing to bring the best players in the world, but if they don’t succeed in finding sources of income, the risk could be that they cannot register all new signings for next season’s LaLiga.

It isn’t only Lewandowski and Raphinha but also recent signings Franck Kessié and Andreas Christensen that arrived on free transfers from AC Milan and Chelsea respectively.

It was only in January of this year that Barça had to make room for Ferran Torres and Aubameyang by asking veteran players Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets to take pay cuts in their contracts.

The idea with the financial levers mentioned before is to prevent this kind of situation. The club’s future depends on them.