Anyone remember Arturo Vidal? The Chilean left Bayern Munich for Barcelona three years ago. The Blaugrana have since sold him to Inter Milan. However, according to the club’s accounts, Vidal is still burning a hole in their pocket — they still have 950,000 euros left to pay Bayern.
All of this is recorded in an article by AZ, which details the significant financial problems that Barcelona are going through at the moment. The Catalans reportedly have an outstanding transfer payments worth 196m euros, with up to 40m of that due to Liverpool for the transfer of Philippe Coutinho. Yikes.
Of course, Barca can just raise money by selling, right? Wrong. No one wants their flops. They tried to sell Coutinho and Griezmann last summer, but there wasn’t a single team dumb enough to pick them up. In they end, Barca were forced to terminate Vidal and Suarez’ contracts to make them leave last season just to free up some wages.
There’s still Leo Messi, but he’s leaving too — the Argentinian’s contract runs out this summer. Although losing Messi would free up a lot of wages, not getting a transfer fee for one of the best players in history would be hard to offset.
The only alternative would be to sell their future, and put guys like Frenkie de Jong and Ansu Fati on the market. That would be the nuclear option though, since it would kill their competitiveness in the long run. In the end, there are no easy solutions for Barcelona. As a Bayern fan, I wouldn’t mind taking de Jong or Fati off their hands, but that’s not my call to make. Maybe some dodgy dealings with the Catalan government could get them off the hook, it wouldn’t be surprising. But as long as the Camp Nou stamps empty, whoever takes over as the next Barca president has a monumental job on his hands.