Barcelona's January transfer plans dealt big blow

Finley Crebolder
Laporta has been splashing the cash
Laporta has been splashing the cash / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Barcelona's plans for the January transfer window have been dealt a big blow with their wage bill thought to be far too high just to stay within La Liga financial rules for next season.

Although exercising major cost cutting and activating numerous 'economic levers' to raise funds, Joan Laporta has splashed the cash since returning to Camp Nou as president, bringing in the likes of Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha this past summer.

January calls for more reinforcements, with the squad's backline in particular in need of attention following the sudden retirement of Gerard Pique. But it could be tough to engineer.

According to COPE, the club's current annual wage bill is around €600m. With current salary expenditure, the Catalans would exceed their permitted limit for next season and would be at serious risk of breaching La Liga's new financial measures. A transfer embargo is a potential penalty.

Barcelona need to reduce their bill to €400m, ideally by the summer, meaning bringing in new players before then will be difficult. They have to offload a number of players on big salaries and ensure those coming in are earning considerably less.

Memphis Depay looks set to leave in January which would help matters as will the retirement of Gerard Pique and the likely departure of Sergio Busquets at the end of the season.

Laporta and co. are additionally apparently trying to convince Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Frenkie de Jong to take salary reductions, but the latter refused to do in the summer and wants to have deferred wages the club already owes him paid first.