For a club that is reportedly in financial shambles, FC Barcelona has quite a wish list.
Joan Laporta, who served as Barcelona president between 2003 and 2010, will usher in a new era of signings at the Camp Nou, with reports that he is set to challenge Real Madrid for the signatures of Erling Haaland and David Alaba.
Laporta won a second term as president by claiming 54 percent of the 55,611 votes cast in last weekend’s elections, running on a platform which heavily suggested that he may be able to convince club icon Lionel Messi to spurn the advances of Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City this summer.
Significant investment has been promised despite Barcelona reportedly being mired in heavy debt, with Spanish publication AS reporting that Laporta has already made contact with the agent of David Alaba as well as the man cited by most as the best young talent in world football, Erling Haaland.
It would seem that keeping Lionel Messi, while adding both Alaba and Haaland would be an expensive proposition for any club — let alone one that is allegedly $1.4 billion (€1.17 billion) in debt with $317 million (€266 million) allegedly due to various creditors by June 30th:
Bayern Munich’s Alaba is available on a free transfer this summer after signaling his intentions to leave the club he has represented for more than a decade while Haaland, another Bundesliga star, is thought to be available should the right – sufficiently eye-watering – price be proposed for the Borussia Dortmund star.
For any of this to become a reality, though, Laporta must first balance the books. Barcelona are reported to be in as much as $1.4 billion in debt, with around $317 million due to various financial institutions by June 30.
For its part, FC Barcelona is said to be putting Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho up for sale in hopes of generating funds. Still, the financial implications of all of these moves could make one — or all — of them impossible.
As if I needed any more stark reminders that we STILL have not seen the video footage of Niko Kovac doing karaoke to Nena’s “99 Luftballons”, ESPN rolled out the video of Alphonso Davies covering Whitney Houston from the same night:
Once again: RELEASE THE TAPE!
During Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Everton on Monday, manager Thomas Tuchel could be heard on the field mics digging into Timo Werner over his how the ex-RB Leipzig player was drifting away from his position:
“Timo, how long do you play left? You play right! You’ve been playing on the left for a quarter of an hour, don’t you understand?” Tuchel said.
Sport Bild said that nothing between the two appeared to be “resentful” after the game.
As a someone who has been known to down a Paulaner from time-to-time, I am all for the Bayern Munich-Paulaner campaign titled “Munich Legends”:
FC Bayern Munich and Paulaner today announced a unique partnership. Under the joint slogan ‘Munich Legends’, Paulaner will be the first team-specific partner of the FC Bayern Legends. The record German champions are a global pioneer with this form of cooperation. As part of the cooperation, the Munich brewery will be featured on the shirt sleeve at FC Bayern Legends’ matches and will accompany the club’s Ambassadors and Legends on all future campaigns.
“We’re very proud of our long-standing partnership with Paulaner, which is simply a perfect fit for us. We have now found our absolute dream partner in Paulaner for our premium platform FC Bayern Legends,” said Bayern board member for marketing, sponsoring and events Andreas Jung. “The fact we were able to develop this creative and absolutely new way of working together in the current difficult climate once again underpins the globally unique path of our Legends.”
The partnership on this initiative is valued by Bayern Munich and Paulaner alike.
“As a partner of FC Bayern Munich, Paulaner has always stood for unique fan campaigns such as the Paulaner Cup or the Paulaner Fan Dreams,” said Paulaner managing director Andreas Steinfatt. “As a Munich brewery, we are delighted to be able to give fans in Germany and around the world even more special experiences with great football names and Paulaner under the label of ‘Munich Legends’.”
Here is a bit more on the campaign from FCBayern.com:
The FC Bayern Legends continue to live the legendary ‘Mia san mia’ of Germany’s record champions even after the end of their playing careers, transporting the special family feeling into the global fan community that characterises this club. Since their foundation in 2017, they have offered FC Bayern‘s partners new opportunities for activation, and the fans a multitude of opportunities to experience unforgettable digital and, hopefully soon, face-to-face meetings with their idols. FC Bayern is a community that passionately sticks together, and fans from all generations find a home here. Together with FC Bayern, Paulaner has already been able to carry out numerous fan experiences under the umbrella of ‘Paulaner Fan Dreams’, including an exclusive meet and greet with the newest FC Bayern Ambassador Claudio Pizarro, a meeting with the FC Bayern Legends team at the Oktoberfest or a journey with the Legends team to the match against the Manchester United Legends.
At one point, Bayer Leverkusen’s Leon Bailey was one of the most sought-after prospects in all of Europe. These days, Bailey is a still a fine talent that big clubs value, but has not exactly developed into the star many anticipated. Regardless, Manchester United is eyeing the Jamaica international:
Playing for Bayer Leverkusen since February 2017, Jamaican international winger Leon Bailey (23), according to latest UK news, has been targeted by Manchester United. German club powerhouse was previously tracked by AS Roma and Arsenal, and is worth around 35 million euros.
Bailey’s career trajectory has been fascinating to watch. He certainly has not shot to stardom, but is still a good player nonetheless.