According to reports in Spain, Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has confirmed the Blaugrana’s transfer budget for the upcoming 2016/2017 season. Speaking at a press conference the president indicated that while the transfer budget was 60 million euros, 25 million euros had been committed to the signing of Lyon centre back Samuel Umtiti.
Speaking at a press conference Bartomeu stated:
“The predicted investment for signings is 60 million plus possible income from transfers”
Given that Marc Bartra’s buyout clause of 8 million euros was paid by Borussia Dortmund in recent weeks the total transfer budget for signings at this moment would be 68 million euros assuming no further departures.
However 25 million euros of the budget has already been committed towards Umtiti. Said Bartomeu
“Some days ago, Barcelona reached an agreement with Lyon for Umtiti for a fee of €25m. It will not be official, however, until he comes to Barcelona for a medical”
An official statement confirming this followed shortly on the Olympique Lyonnais website. That transfer would leave approximately 43 million euros in the kitty, however with Barcelona intending to repurchase of Denis Suarez from Villareal CF (which was previously confirmed on this blog) at a cost of 3.5 million euros the total transfer budget remaining would be 39.5 million euros.
The president confirmed the intention to bring Suarez back saying:
“[The deal to sign Suarez] has not been completed, but it is true that we would like him to return to the club,”
With those two transfers out of the way the president confirmed that the intent would be to strengthen the forward line with an alternative to the MSN trident being a key objective of the board.
“We are looking to sign a striker. There are two options. Signing a young striker with potential who would cost us some money or signing an older one who would help back our attacking trio. The numbers are different. If we sign an older striker to be on the bench it doesn’t make sense to pay a lot of money, but for a young player it makes more sense.”
It was also expected that Barcelona would move to sign a right back following the departure of Dani Alves to Juventus. Among the players linked are Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin, Chelsea’s Cesar Azpiliceuta, Valencia’s Joao Cancelo, and Napoli’s Elseid Hysaj.
What appears clear is that Barcelona will not go over budget this summer to sign players which may have been the reason Nolito was allowed to go to Manchester City. The president had this to say:
“In January, we did not make any signings because of the ratio of debt, not because we had a lack of money”
“If you can not pay for a car, you have to settle for another one. Despite that, it should be said that this is not common, but it is good that Barcelona shows that it is a club with economic control, with maturity and rigour.”
One thing is for certain, Barcelona are going to be very busy in the coming weeks of the transfer market.