FC Barcelona Transfer

Barcelona are trying to usher in a new era with the same transfer mistakes

Tom Gott
Barcelona are still stuck in their old ways
Barcelona are still stuck in their old ways / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

When Joan Laporta returned to Camp Nou to replace disgraced former president Josep Maria Bartomeu, he vowed to restore the team to their former glory.

Undoing all the damage caused by Bartomeu's years of financial mismanagement was never going to be easy, but Laporta promised fans that things would be different now and the Barcelona of years gone by would soon be back.

So...can anyone explain what they're doing this summer?

We started off with a bumper move for 33-year-old Sergio Aguero - an ageing, injury prone striker who only started seven Premier League games this season. He comes in to replace 34-year-old Luis Suarez, who was booted out the door and into the arms of Atletico Madrid because he was too old and obviously rubbish at football these days.

Aguero was quickly followed by Manchester City teammate Eric Garcia, who has been billed as the solution to Barcelona's defensive woes despite managing just three league starts last year.

Sure, it's great to see Barcelona living within their means for once, but while the cost of the transfers may be better, the logic behind them is just as flawed as before.

Aguero is not a Suarez replacement and Garcia is going to take the Clement Lenglet role of trying to replace Gerard Pique and coming up short, but club officials are billing both as potential saviours. It's almost like they're intentionally exaggerating to try and earn some sympathy.

Aw, poor wittle Barcelona can only make free transfers because everybody said no to the Super League.

Now, credit where credit's due, Barcelona have pulled out of talks over Georginio Wijnaldum after PSG rocked up and offered him the kind of wages La Blaugrana would have handed out 12 months ago. There's some progress there. We don't need to be handing 30-year-olds massive contracts anymore. Nice one.

Georginio Wijnaldum
Barcelona wisely gave up on Wijnaldum / BSR Agency/Getty Images

It's almost a blessing in disguise for Barcelona as it forces them to actually take a step back and think about their transfer business this summer. They can actually spend money, so should find the right targets instead of scrambling around the free agent pool.

Behind the scenes, Laporta is scrambling around trying to raise the £150m needed to sign Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland. We all know that's absolutely not going to be possible, but if Barcelona can find even half of that, why aren't they investing that in the playing squad? Are they so fixated on a nonsensical deal for Haaland that they're letting the rest of the squad suffer? Sounds a lot like 2019 Barcelona.

Instead of rushing around and trying to flex on the rest of the continent with some underwhelming signings, why not focus on selling the deadwood in the squad? You know, the ones stealing a living from the club with their ridiculous wages?

Barcelona should be doing all they can to shop Neto, Samuel Umtiti, Junior Firpo, Sergi Roberto, Matheus Fernandes, Miralem Pjanic, Philippe Coutinho, Antoine Griezmann, Martin Braithwaite and Francisco Trincao. Selling them all is obviously unlikely, but get just two or three of them out the door and the wage budget would drop dramatically.

Joan Laporta, Eric Garcia
Laporta is going about the transfer window all wrong / David Ramos/Getty Images

Those players need to be sold before new players arrive. Barcelona can't even afford their current wage budget, but they've already added two new names to it (three if you count the no-brainer re-signing of Emerson) and they're hoping to make Memphis Depay the next addition. That's more wages without getting anyone off the books.

The personnel may have changed in the Camp Nou boardroom, but the absence of logic still reigns supreme.

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