Rumour Has It: Barcelona priced out of Salah race

By Sports Desk March 29, 2022

Barcelona are reportedly too restricted by LaLiga financial rules to enter the race for the world's best players, even after inking a deal with Spotify worth up to $235million.

Xavi's side have gone from strength to strength recently, finding form and re-establishing Barcelona as a prime destination, with a number of strong signings rumoured to be heading to Camp Nou in the next transfer window.

While there may be interest in bringing in the biggest names in the world, Barcelona supporters will likely need to lower their expectations.

TOP STORY – BARCELONA OUT OF SALAH RACE

It was reported that Barcelona have interest in signing Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, but The Daily Mirror claims that it will not be possible due to LaLiga's financial rules.

Salah – who boasts 28 goals and 10 assists in 36 matches for Liverpool this season – is likely to fetch a price similar to Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland, who Barcelona president Joan Laporta ruled out when talking with RAC 1, as well as Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe, due to the lofty figures.

While Barca may not be willing to fork out €100m for a single signing, they are rumoured to have agreed to terms with Robert Lewandowski, who could fetch up to €60m at 33 years old, as well as Franck Kessie and Cesar Azpilicueta, with further interest in Ajax's Antony and Manchester United's Paul Pogba.

ROUND-UP

– Borussia Dortmund are interested in signing Premier League strikers Timo Werner and Anthony Martial from Chelsea and Manchester United, according to 90Min.

– According to The Sun, Newcastle United are keen on signing Watford's Ismaila Sarr in the upcoming transfer window in a deal believed to be worth around £35m.

– Leeds United have placed an asking price of £67m on Brazilian winger Raphinha, per The Daily Mirror, with The Athletic also reporting that the club insists his only release clause is triggered if the Whites are relegated from the Premier League.

– Calciomercato is reporting that Arsenal and Atletico Madrid will be competing for the signature of Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez, with the Italian club said to be interested if the fee hits £58m.

– According to Mundo Deportivo, Paulo Dybala is interested in joining Atletico Madrid when his contract expires after this season, and while Inter also have interest, they would need to sell Martinez to do so.

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  • Barcelona dismiss Xavi despite U-turn over future Barcelona dismiss Xavi despite U-turn over future

    Barcelona have confirmed the dismissal of head coach Xavi, just 30 days after he had revealed he would be staying on for next season.

    Xavi said in January that he would be leaving Barca at the end of the season, yet he was convinced to remain in charge by club president Joan Laporta.

    Barca have gone on to secure a second-place finish in LaLiga, yet on Friday, before their final match of the season against Sevilla on Sunday, it was confirmed Xavi would be leaving after all.

    A statement released on the club's official website read: "The president, Joan Laporta, announced this afternoon to Xavi that he will not continue as coach of the first team in the 2024-25 season. 

    "The meeting took place at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper and the sports vice-president, Rafa Yuste, and the sports director, Anderson Luis de Souza, Deco, as well as Xavi's assistants, Oscar Hernández and Sergio Alegre, were present.

    "Barcelona would like to thank Xavi for his work as a coach, which adds to an unparalleled career as a player and captain of the team, and wishes him all the luck in the world."

    Xavi has overseen 142 matches in charge of Barca, and led them to the title in 2022-23.

    He has won 89 games in all competitions, giving him a win percentage of 62.7. 

    Hansi Flick, the former Bayern Munich and Germany coach, is expected to be confirmed as Xavi's replacement.

    During his time in charge, Xavi has helped blood young stars such as Gavi, Lamine Yamal and Fermin Lopez.

  • Postecoglou: There's a deadline on signing Werner Postecoglou: There's a deadline on signing Werner

    Ange Postecoglou has revealed Tottenham have a deadline if they want to make Timo Werner’s loan deal permanent.

    The German joined Spurs on loan in January from RB Leipzig, scoring twice and assisting three goals in 14 matches in all competitions for the North London side.

    However, Werner missed the last five games of Spurs’ season due to a hamstring injury he sustained against Arsenal.

    Postecoglou admitted that he was relaxed about the situation, but whether a deal was made was out of his hands.

    Speaking to reporters following their friendly in Melbourne against Newcastle United, Postecoglou said: "I think from our perspective, there's a deadline there.

    "Again, a lot of that will depend on the negotiations between the clubs and how Timo feels.

    "Again, from my perspective, I'm comfortable with that situation, and I'll let the other guys steer it to see what kind of outcome there is."

    After a strong start to their season, Spurs eventually finished fifth in the Premier League, securing a place in the Europa League next season.

    The Australian also believes the club need to bring more attacking players in as a priority to balance the higher workload next season after struggling with injuries this campaign.

    "Yeah, absolutely. It's no secret [we need new forwards]. You saw the way we finished the season," he said.

    "We obviously lost Richarlison and Timo Werner as well with injuries, but we're fairly light in that area.

    "We started last season with Manor [Solomon] and [Ivan] Perisic, and we were quite healthy in that front third in terms of numbers, but as the year went on it became pretty evident that we needed to bulk up.

    "We're in Europe as well next year, so we'll have more games, and it's definitely an area of the park we'll need to strengthen."

  • Lewandowski hints at Barcelona stay next season Lewandowski hints at Barcelona stay next season

    Barcelona forward Robert Lewandowski has suggested he will remain at the LaLiga club next season.

    Lewandowski joined Barcelona from Bayern Munich in 2022 and has since helped them win the league title last season as well as the Spanish Super Cup.

    The 35-year-old ended his debut season as the league's top scorer with 23 goals and has netted a further 18 in Barcelona's current trophy-less campaign.

    Lewandowski's current contract is set to expire in 2026, but uncertainties about his future have grown since manager Xavi initially announced his departure in January, only to backtrack in April.

    Barcelona are also dealing with economic challenges, with a bloated wage bill and a huge renovation project at the Camp Nou stadium having increased the financial strain this term.

    "Of course, for me, it is super clear. I want to win many titles with Barcelona, and I am sure that next season we will be even stronger, and we will also win titles," Lewandowski told Mundo Deportivo on Wednesday when asked about rumours of a potential exit.

    "I always want the best, not just for me, but for my team-mates, and I am sure that this team will win titles next season, because I see what we do each day.

    "For me, that is what matters, because this is a club that I hold close to my heart and I want to give a lot for the team and the club."

    Xavi said earlier in May, "We value Robert's presence in the team very much, and we will decide on his future at the end of the season."

    Barcelona are second in LaLiga, 12 points behind newly crowned champions Real Madrid. They face Sevilla in their final game of the season on Sunday.

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