It’s pretty much evident that Martin Braithwaite’s Barcelona days are numbered. Although the 31-year-old’s current deal is valid until 2024, it is believed that he is currently negotiating the termination of his contract. For now, while there is an unwritten agreement between Barcelona and the striker over the termination, nothing will be made official until the 31-year-old finds himself a new team. In this context, there have been reports of interest from Celta de Vigo, Getafe, Al Nassr and Al Shabab, but Spanish news outlet Diario AS has now credited Rayo Vallecano with a strong interest. At this moment, the team leading the chase is Celta as they have already started their side of negotiation with the player’s representatives.
For now, they are occupied in the release of Denis Suarez or Santi Mina and even if one of them departs, it will leave them enough space to accommodate Braithwaite in the roster as he is being looked upon as a priority target. But if they fail in their pursuit, Real Madrid’s Mariano would be an alternative. Getafe, meanwhile, have pulled out of the race following the arrival of Borja Mayoral. As for Rayo Vallecano, Braithwaite remains one of the several options they are pondering. This includes former Atletico Madrid frontman Diego Costa and even Marcos Andre. Braithwaite’s departure from Camp Nou is only a matter of weeks as Barcelona are clear about their intentions. However, finding a suitor is proving too difficult as the forward is demanding the rest of the money on the two years left of his deal.
It’s not that Barcelona haven’t received any offers. On the contrary, several La Liga teams have expressed their interest and Barcelona are currently hoping to find a middle ground over the issues. This potentially means they are looking to reduce the money owed to him. While the operation is very much complicated, one can expect Braithwaite to depart before Barcelona officially start their 2022-23 football season. La Liga is reportedly refusing to allow FC Barcelona to register new players ahead of the new season. The Blaugrana get their Spanish top flight campaign underway against Rayo Vallecano at Camp Nou on August 13. This Sunday, at the same ground, they will also present the first team squad to fans in the Joan Gamper Trophy played against visiting Mexican outfit PUMAUMA +0.2%S UNAM
In 2022/2023, the roster contains new arrivals such as Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski, Jules Kounde, Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen plus a further two players who have renewed their contracts in Ousmane Dembele and Sergi Roberto. On Friday, as Lewandowski was unveiled to a crowd of nearly 60,000 punters in the Catalans’ home stadium, president Joan Laporta revealed that all the necessary documentation to register the players had already been sent off to La Liga. “We have done the job well and we believe that we meet all the requirements,” Laporta said. “The documentation has already been sent and we are waiting for the response from the league. There may be some disparity, but we understand that there will be no problems because we have complied with everything and the players will be able to register.
According to SPORT on Friday evening, however, Laporta will have to do just that as La Liga are still not permitting the club to register the new players and have informed Barca of the development. Barca have been holding regular meetings with La Liga top brass for weeks to “evaluate the situation” it is said. But the reality remains that Xavi Hernandez’s men “do not meet the necessary requirements” to include the five new signings and two renewed stars in matchday squads as things stand. Barca still need to lower player salaries, and offload the likes of Frenkie de Jong, too. To alleviate their woes, the fourth economic lever, which involves selling a further 24.5% of Barca Studios for €100mn ($102mn) – as seen in an identical deal with socios.com earlier this week – could be activated as early as Monday.
While Barca’s La Liga campaign gets underway on August 31, the club – which also sold a total 25% of its television rights for the next 25 years as part of the first two levers – has until August 31 to register the seven players. Barcelona president Joan Laporta said the club are “out of the hospital” in terms of their financial situation as the LaLiga giants unveiled striker Robert Lewandowski at the Camp Nou in front of 57,300 fans. Lionel Messi departed Barcelona due to financial problems exactly one year to the day that the club presented Europe’s two-time leading goalscorer after he sealed his transfer from Bayern Munich. “A year ago, sadly, we had to announce an unwanted situation as a result of the club’s economic situation, but a year has passed and we can say that we are turning things around,” Laporta said of the club’s failure to register Messi’s new contract with LaLiga last summer to comply with the league’s financial fair play rules.
“It’s been a very difficult year for us,” Laporta said. “We’ve had so many big decisions to make and with a lot of pressure. “A year later, we are turning the situation around. We have to continue to work. But we can say from a financial standpoint, we are out of the hospital. We still have to be cautious. “Barca has brought in €800m in the past two months. We have made a great effort. We have had to sell some assets but we can get those back in the future. “We are working to help Barca return to be a reference in football. We are getting back to the place we belong.” Despite the unveiling of Lewandowski, he is yet to be registered along with the other new signings. “We have worked hard to register all of the players not just Robert,” Laporta said. “It’s a LaLiga decision and we are waiting. I think we have accomplished everything they have asked for. ”
Ahead of Barca’s league opener against Rayo Vallecano on Aug. 13, a fourth financial injection has been approved by the Catalan club should they need to use it to comply with the strict spending caps in LaLiga. “Regarding the fourth financial injection [the sale of a further 24.5% of Barça Studios to the company Socios.com for €100m], it was something we had planned to do as a precaution just in case there is a difference of interpretation [with LaLiga],” Laporta added. “It has been approved by the club, but we hope we don’t need to go through with it. If we have to use it, we will.” Despite the uncertainty around the registration of his new signings, Laporta beamed with pride when talking about Lewandowski.
“Today is a historic day for Barca,” he said. “We are all excited that a player of Robert’s calibre is here. We are on the right track. We see in the transfer market than players want to come and play at Barca. “We wanted a top striker. If a genie came and gave us three wishes, we would have asked him for a scorer, one that has won the Golden Shoe several times and to be a goal guarantee. And that’s Robert. “There were many clubs that had offered Robert better financial conditions, but he chose to come to Barca and that is why I’m so grateful to him.” Barcelona endured a difficult campaign on and off the pitch last season but the Poland international said he is focused on enjoying a successful spell at Barca.
NAME: Barcelona – Rayo Vallecano
DATE: 13 Aug 2022
TIME: 19:00 UTC
VENUE: Spotify Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain