Barcelona won’t be able to sign Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski without raising funds through player sales or pay cuts, admitted Blaugrana economic vice-president Eduard Romeu.
Romeu also hinted at star talents such as Frenkie de Jong could be allowed to leave if their departures allow Barca to strengthen Xavi’s team.
Barca have been heavily linked with a move for Lewandowski amid a contract dispute with the Bundesliga champions, saying on Monday: “My story at Bayern is over.”
But Barca’s attempts to sign the Polish international, who scored 50 goals in 46 appearances for Bayern in the 2021-22 seasonwere left in doubt earlier this week when La Liga president Javier Tebas said that Blaugrana must sell star players to fund such a move.
Tebas said on Tuesday: “They know what they have to do, sell assets. Barca have accumulated many losses in recent years, some of which could have been avoided.”
President of Blaugrana Joan Laporta responded by lambasting Tebas for ‘wanting to harm Barca’s interests’ in a post shared by the club’s social media accounts.
Romeu, however, recognizes the need to raise funds to fund the high-profile signingalmost a year later Barca lose club legend Lionel Messi after struggling to meet LaLiga wage limits.
“Currently the norm is one to three for financial fair play,” he told radio station RAC1. “If we are able to get three times the cost of the transfer plus amortization, it can be signedbut first we have to do the job of closing the levers.
“If we don’t, as we are right now, by regulation, it is not possible to sign it.”
Barcelona in talks over pay cuts, De Jong could be sold
Romeu then reveals Barca must start discussions with players on salary cuts, as they seek to reduce a bloated payroll to make room for new arrivals.
“We have a payroll of 560 million euroscompared to Bayern it’s double, they have 300 million euros and [Real] Madrid 400 million euros,” he continued.
“The negotiations with the team will be individual. With the veterans, it will depend on the technical interests and where there is more interest for the club. The most expensive contracts must be negotiated beforehand.
Barcelona’s continued need to balance the books has led to rumors that De Jong could be sold, with the Dutch international linked with reunion with ex-Ajax boss Erik ten Hag at Manchester Unitedand Romeu hasn’t ruled out a sale of the talented midfielder.
“It’s the decision of the players, the players have agreements that someone has signed for them,” he added.
“They have not committed any sin, we cannot afford certain situations, but we must make an assessment, they didn’t deceive anyone and Barca respected their agreements, another thing is that we have to negotiate with them.
“Right now, we don’t have a budget for the sale of players. What we are talking about is a technical problem. About Frenkie de Jong, one thing is that you get money, and another that you [can] use [it] for other payments.”
Romeu: Tebas ‘said amen to everything’ during Bartomeu’s reign
Romeu also followed Laporta’s example by hitting Tebasinsisting he was partly to blame for the financial crisis that engulfed Barcelona during Josep Maria Bartomeu’s tenure as president due to his leniency with the former Blaugrana regime.
“The situation at Barça is his fault, but this man [Tebas] is jointly responsible for the situation of Barça“said Romeu.
“He looked away and allowed the current situation. He said amen to everything, against the interests of Barça.