Barcelona will not make ‘big signings’ next summer, says sporting director Deco


Barcelona sporting director Deco says the club will not make “big signings” next summer.

The Spanish club’s financial problems are well-documented, with further cuts to the wage bill almost certain and likely to limit the scope for squad improvements for the 2024-25 campaign.

Barcelona will, though, definitely need to find a new head coach after Xavi announced last month that he will leave at the end of the season.

“We will not do big signings next summer,” Deco said on Catalan TV. “We need a new manager who understands the situation of the club, who understands that we have a lot of youngsters that need to be improved and worked on, who understands we are growing as a team and that we won’t make top signings next summer.

“We don’t want to (have to sell someone). The ideal plan is to improve the current squad without sales. But if you have to sell someone, it will have to balance our current squad.

“I think that selling (Ronald) Araujo plus (Frenkie) De Jong to then sign (Kylian) Mbappe would worsen our current squad.”

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Former Barcelona defender and youth team coach Rafael Marquez has been touted as a potential Xavi successor but Deco appeared to steer away from that particular rumour.

He said: “Before contacting a manager, we need to know which path are we going to follow as a club.

“Marquez could be an emergency option for the club. But for the long-term, I think it has to be a more well-thought decision.”

Barcelona, who are eight points behind league leaders Real Madrid, are next in action against Granada on Sunday.

‘The limits of short-term fixes are becoming clear’

Analysis by Dermot Corrigan, La Liga correspondent

Since returning for a second spell as club president in March 2021, Joan Laporta has repeatedly used creative solutions — including the famous ‘levers’ of money borrowed from Barcelona’s future earnings — with the stated aim of keeping the squad as competitive as possible.

This has allowed for the additions of expensive stars, such as Robert Lewandowski, and the retention of emerging talents including Ronald Araujo, Gavi and Lamine Yamal, helping the club win the 2022-23 La Liga title.

However, the limits of the board’s short-term fixes are becoming clear, just as the issues within their squad have also been laid bare.

Barcelona began 2024 hoping to strengthen during this transfer window in a bid for success on different fronts over the final months of this season. Instead, January has brought a humbling 4-1 Supercopa de Espana final defeat by Real Madrid, a 4-2 Copa del Rey quarter-final elimination at Athletic Bilbao, and a 5-3 loss at home to Villarreal this past weekend, a result that realistically ended any chances of back-to-back domestic championships.

Further cuts to the wage bill are all but certain in the summer. The sale of key first-team players could be the only possible solution to the constraints imposed by the club’s historic debts of more than €1billion and the financial sustainability regulations of La Liga and European football’s governing body UEFA. Making expensive additions to the squad in the next transfer window looks almost impossible at this point.

go-deeper

GO DEEPER

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(Alex Caparros/Getty Images)





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