Barcelona could spend €120 million
Barcelona could have 120 million euros to spend in a major squad reorganisation this summer, club president Josep Maria Bartomeu said.
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Barca are set to sign replacements for outgoing goalkeeper Victor Valdes and defender Carles Puyol ahead of next season, and could embark on a major overhaul under a new coach given current boss Gerardo Martino’s unwillingness to discuss his future.
The Blaugrana chief told Marca that it was not clear yet how many players would be acquired, but if needed the club could talk to its bankers and make available up to 120 million euros.
“At the moment I do not know how many players we will sign,” Bartomeu said. “Two for sure and the rest we will see about. If they ask us we could dedicate 120 million euros to signings and stretch out the syndicated loan a year.”
Bartomeu also told his club's official website that the long-trailed new and improved contract for talisman Lionel Messi was still in the works, while dismissing speculation the Argentine had considered leaving the Camp Nou.
“These are talks we are having with Messi’s family, with Messi’s father above all, because we have this desire to improve his contract so that he is the best paid player in the world,” he said. “They are going well because Messi wants to stay at Barca, he wants to end his sporting career at our club, and we want to him to stay because there is no doubt that he is the best player in the world and what he brings us is spectacular.”
Meanwhile, former Barca player and coach Johan Cruyff has again claimed that last summer’s 86 million euro signing of Neymar had unsettled the Barca dressing-room, with the star's huge wages being the major issue.
“The problem at Barca is Neymar,” Cruyff told AS. “He is a great player, you cannot argue about that. But you cannot sign a player of 21 and have him earning more than players who have won everything. Nobody at 21 is God.”
In 2010, former Blaugrana president Sandro Rosell took away Cruyff's honorary club president status during a well-publicised feud between the pair.
The 66-year-old suggested he may be open to taking up his honorary position once more should Bartomeu make the offer. “I travel a lot, I am not always in Barcelona, that would have to be talked about,” Cruyff said.