Florentino inaugurates another ‘low cost’ market (Martí Molina)

Real Madrid have wanted to advance to many major European clubs and are about to close the hiring of defender David Alaba. Seconds advanced Brand, the Bayern player, whose contract expires this summer and who broke off negotiations to renew with the Bavarian club, has already reached an agreement to arrive at the Bernabéu free. He would sign for four seasons with an annual salary of eleven million, the newspaper added. With this agreement, which has not yet been confirmed by Real Madrid, President Florentino Pérez is inaugurating a transfer market that, if the forecasts are met, will stand out for its low-cost operations, transfers and exchanges. Just in line with what happened in the summer of 2020.

Alaba’s father, George, denied the German newspaper picture that all the paperwork had already been signed. He acknowledged, however, that the whites are the ones best placed to get the services of the versatile 28-year-old Austrian footballer, who can play both on defense and as a winger. Liverpool was one of the clubs that had shown the most interest in the player, and had also been in the orbit of Barça, to the point that a verbal agreement had been published in some media between Alaba and Víctor’s candidacy. Source, which is denied from Yes to the Future. “There was nothing pairing up,” they nuance.

The covid punctures the bubble

The coronavirus has turned the football world upside down and punctured the bubble of a sport where everything was estimated at tens of millions. Clubs have had to tighten their belts and adjust their budgets downwards, and sports salaries have been one of the plots most affected. Without going any further, Barça had to negotiate a 30% salary delay with their stars in order to square the numbers of a course where, at the Camp Nou, more than 300 million euros will be lost in terms of income.

It is never a good time to face a financial crisis. However, at Barça this delicate economic situation has come in a context in which the club needs to renovate the locker room, which will be difficult to carry out, at least as quickly as it would take at the Camp Nou. One of the operations that best reflects this problem is the frustrated signing of Eric García. In the summer, the Catalan club already refused to incorporate the Catalan defender because it did not have the 15 million requested by Manchester City, even if it was paying it on comfortable terms. It will not arrive in this winter market either, after the meeting between the three presidential candidates (Joan Laporta, Víctor Font and Toni Freixa) and the management board (chaired by Carles Tusquets) ended without an agreement – the sky blue team was now asking about five million for the player. Therefore, the footballer, if he returns to the Camp Nou, will be from next season, at zero cost, once the contract with City expires.

Signing up and selling, a headache

On the other hand, at Barça there are not only problems with signing. Also to remove ballast. Last summer he could not enter everything he wanted in terms of transfers and could not find a buyer for players like Coutinho, who did not enter the plans of the sports secretariat. This year’s budget, reformulated once the agreement with the players has been closed in terms of salary, was expected to be sold before June 30 worth 80 million euros, a figure that now seems difficult to achieve .

FIFA estimated in September that transfers would fall by an average of 30% and the ECA added that turnover in major European leagues would fall by around 4 billion as a result of the pandemic. These numbers, however, were made when the second wave of the covid had not even arrived and all countries were confident of being able to make the stadium public before Christmas. With the current situation the forecasts will be much more pessimistic, admit the sources consulted.

The problems are universal. The more money a club made, the bigger the kick-off and the more effort had to be made to balance the numbers in the treasury. If in the European leagues salaries accounted for almost 63% of the budget, with the covid has exceeded 70%, above the security threshold proposed by the football estates. It is not surprising, then, that, in addition to the salary adjustment, many clubs look favorably on getting rid of some of their franchise players to balance the accounts. This is the case, for example, at Paris Saint-Germain, where its sporting director, Leonardo, acknowledged France Football that, due to the pandemic, “PSG does not currently have the means to pay for the team’s two stars, Neymar and Mbappé”. So, for the first time, I opened the exit to one of the two, which seemed unthinkable a few months ago.

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