Barcelona will not only have to compete in the market with PSG, but also with Italy’s Juventus, German giants Bayern Munich and the English duo of Manchester City and Tottenham
The Spanish giants have drawn up a list of chosen its priority signings in order to reinforce their squad and bring in some fresh faces and energy in order to continue their project for the next season. But these names will also likely appear on the agenda for most clubs across the European major leagues and thus Barcelona will face a fight in January.
Barcelona know they will be rivaled in bids for Matthijs De Ligt , Luuk De Jong and Adiren Rabiot, so the Camp Nou chiefs must prepare themselves for a fight for these players, while also ensuring they don’t exceed their targeted budgets. Tough in all likeliness fees could reach levels never seen before, thanks to the fact that it is not just a club or two that will be the only competitors.
Take the case of De Jong, for example. Barca director of football Eric Abidal made a 25 million euro bid for the highly-rated Dutch footballer, and even extended it to 30 last summer. But Marc Overmars , the director general of Ajax , was unmoved and nothing came to pass the summer market came to a close. Tottenham were rumoured to have put on the table 50 million euros, while PSG and City have made clear that they are willing to exceed 70 million.
Ajax retain the ultimate word on wheat transfer fee is most suitable for both clubs, and there is no pressure for the Amsterdam club to sell immediately. Of late, clubs like Ajax, seen as feeder clubs that nurture young talent and then sell them for huge amounts, have increasingly been unwilling to forego large transfers because when they go to the market to replace those who have left, they will be charged exorbitant amounts.
De Jong has been tied down to a long-term contract, so Overmars will have no rush in selling of one of the clubs best players. Rabiot, on the other hand, is a more plausible case. His current contract ends in June, and the Frenchman has already rejected four attempts by PSG to renew his contract.
As of January, he will be free to get into negotiations with clubs outside France, and PSG consider him so valuable that president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has made it his personal mission to ensure Rabiot. This includes even offering him an ‘irresistible’ offer.
Adrien Rabiot has declined a new contract offer from PSG. The club offered a salary of €8m & bonus of €7m. Rabiot wants a salary & bonus of €10m each. He does want to stay but wants the club to offer what he wants. Al-Khelaïfi sees him as a future PSG captain. (@parisunited6)
— Rich Allen 🇨🇵⭐⭐🇨🇵 (@rich_allen85) October 14, 2018
Apart from La Blaugrana, Juventus, City, Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal have also been linked with the 23-year-old. All these clubs can provide higher salaries and a good signing bonus.
De Ligt is already a more complicated case, though similar to De Jong. He will also be free to negotiate with European clubs come January, but can only leave if the offer is dizzying. Ajax value him at 75 million euros, so another case of clubs having to outbid each other is bound to happen.
Barcelona are not the same proposition they were a few years back, when every player wanted to be a part of the squad. Nowadays, clubs like Juventus, City, United and Bayern also have the ability to cast their nets and catch the big fish. But one thing working in the Camp Nou outfit’s advantage is their unmatched allure and aura, so they must be praying they can make at least some of these bids work.