Analysis: Barcelona financial strategy may face first setback with Alejandro Balde negotiations

Barcelona have conducted gone about their business aggressively in recent seasons. After selling €667m worth of assets in the summer of 2021 in order to allow them to make a major recruitment push, there was little else for it. So far their strategy appears to working well.

While various footballers have come in to make greater (Andreas Christensen, Jules Kounde, Robert Lewandowski) or lesser (Raphinha, Ferran Torres) effect, the ability to get them through the door has been impressive. Some will feel they overpaid for those deals, but the reality is in comparison to many of Europe’s top sides, the fees Barcelona have paid have not been reaching towards the higher echelons of the market.

Parallel to their transfers, the club have made it their priority to lock down their young, promising core to new deals. Pedri was the first, followed by Ansu Fati, Ronald Araujo and Gavi, all of whom have committed to new deals through to 2026 or longer.

The supposed next one in line for renewal is Alejandro Balde. The left-back has exploded onto the scene this season, winning a place in the team over veterans Jordi Alba and Marcos Alonso. At 19, his form has made it clear that his current deal, running until 2024, is inadequate. In the space of six months, he made it from the third division to the World Cup.

The club have been outwardly positive about a deal, with both manager Xavi Hernandez and Director of Football declaring that an agreement was close. Balde has publicly said his intention is to continue at Barcelona, but also remarked that he would ‘leave those matters in the hands of his agent’, in this case Jorge Mendes.

Fichajes say that there is an element of concern over negotiations in Can Barca, with Premier League sides making their interest in Balde known. The negotiations have been ongoing far longer than anticipated by the Blaugrana.

Their recent recruitment and retention have been based upon two key facets in order to keep Barcelona competitive and improve the financial situation. A salary structure has been implemented so that each player, depending on their level, earns roughly the same, with a maximum for each category of player. In addition, Barcelona have refused to get into auctions for players, instead convincing players to play for them using the prestige of the club and the project, rather than offering the highest salary.

So far this has worked wonders. However none of the key additions or renewals have refused to fit into that structure. If Balde is the first to refuse to be convinced by that strategy and Jorge Mendes demands more money than the salary structure allows for, then it could lead to Barcelona losing one of the most talented left-backs in the world.

At the same time, breaking the salary structure would risk further financial instability down the line and potentially causing discontent amongst other members of the squad who have agreed to fit into Barcelona’s limits. A tricky dilemma presents itself.

Tags Alejandro Balde Barcelona Jorge Mendes

1 Comment

  1. “After selling €667m worth of assets in the summer of 2021 in order to allow them to make a major recruitment push, there was little else for it. So far their strategy appears to working well”

    Indeed they are now in pole position to win Champ… oh no, wait! Theyre still in EL despite the mammoth investment! Bahahaha! What an imperious business strategy that “seems to be working just fine”.

    At least of Perez invested in stadium with money he borrowed. That means at the end of the day more seats for fans = more money. This barcELona bought literal perishables for money they borrowed. Perishables will be sold or retire but debt will remain for a half of century. Without sporting success to cover interest.

    This masterstroke of investment is the equivalence of buying old used cars when Perez invested in real estate which albeit will cost for a while but will bring in a lot of money in the long run.

    Guess who made a better deal, lmaoo.

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