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Barcelona ‘shift focus from new signings to contract renewals’

Barcelona ‘shift focus from new signings to contract renewals’

Barcelona are reportedly set to prioritize sorting out recent contract extensions rather than big-money moves for new players in the near future.

The Blaugrana’s long-running financial issues have been well-documented for a while now, as their economic situation made it impossible for the club to keep Lionel Messi on the books.

However, Barcelona were still extremely active in the summer transfer window, spending big to bring Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Jules Kounde to Camp Nou.

Andreas Christensen, Marcos Alonso, Hector Bellerin, Pablo Torre and Franck Kessie also arrived at the club, while a new contract was negotiated with Ousmane Dembele.

President Joan Laporta activated economic levers by selling stakes in TV rights and Barca Studios to fund his side’s transfer activity, and they continue to be linked with several big names.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta pictured on August 5, 2022© Reuters

A move for Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva has been strongly mooted, and the Blaugrana have also been tipped to make a sensational swoop to re-sign Messi from Paris Saint-Germain.

However, Mundo Deportivo claims that Barcelona must focus on the formalities of new contracts for the time being, as issues still exist with Gavi and Ronaldo Araujo’s deals.

Midfield protege Gavi penned a new contract until 2026 back in September, while Uruguayan defender Araujo signed an identical extension with the Blaugrana in April.

Complying with Financial Fair Play is still a problem for Barcelona, though, and as a result, Gavi is yet to receive his upgraded salary or a first-team record sheet.

The 18-year-old was also due to receive the number six shirt as part of his renewal, but he is still donning the number 30 as Barcelona try to alleviate their FFP issues.

Spain's Gavi celebrates scoring their fifth goal on November 23, 2022© Reuters

Furthermore, Araujo is in a similar boat, while renewals for Inaki Pena and Alejandro Balde cannot be formalized until Barcelona trim their wage bill further.

Memphis Depay is expected to be one of the first names out of the door as Barca try to balance the books, with the Dutchman due to become a free agent next summer.

Manchester United have been heavily linked with a January swoop for their former attacker, who is also believed to be on the radar of both Arsenal and Chelsea.

Meanwhile, right-back Bellerin is also set to leave on a free transfer less than a year after returning to Catalonia, having left La Masia in 2011 to sign for Arsenal.

Roma are thought to be keen to sign Bellerin as a replacement for Rick Karsdorp, who seemingly has no future at the club after a falling out with Jose Mourinho.

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