A man looking to take control of the boardroom at Camp Nou says the Liga giants should be looking to make marquee transfers in the summer
Barcelona snapping up Kylian Mbappe or Erling Haaland is “absolutely possible” according to presidential hopeful Toni Freixa, who expects Lionel Messi to continue delaying any decision on his expiring contract.
The Liga giants are facing financial struggles during the coronavirus pandemic with the club revealed to be €1.2 billion in debt, while the lack of a figurehead in the boardroom is making future planning difficult.
Marquee additions at Camp Nou are still being mooted though, with exciting forwards on the books at Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund said to be big-money targets.
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What has been said?
Freixa, who is among those looking to be elected as Barca’s new president on March 7, told RAC1 when asked whether Mbappe – who is yet to sign a new contract at PSG – or Haaland could be signed: “It is absolutely possible. It’s what Barca should do. Incorporate players that can make a difference.”
He added when quizzed further on supposed interest: “We will never talk about players until we present them. It is a bad strategy because you serve other clubs that step on you in negotiations on a platter.”
What about Messi’s future?
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner continues to run his lucrative deal down. No extension has been agreed with the Argentine, who saw one push for the exits blocked off during the summer.
Goal has learned that Messi intends to wait until the end of the season before making a decision on his future, and Freixa believes that will remain the case amid much uncertainty at Camp Nou.
He added on the 33-year-old forward: “Messi is as cool as we are, knows the situation of the club and I am confident that he will wait for the president to decide his future.”
Will Ronald Koeman be staying on?
Questions have been asked of the Dutch coach this season despite his standing as a club legend.
Barca have struggled for consistency in 2020-21, with a 4-1 Champions League defeat to Paris Saint-Germain another example of how far off the pace they have slipped.
They are, however, still in contention for major honours, with the Liga title and Copa del Rey crown both possible, and Freixa says he will not be making any changes in the dugout if appointed as successor to Josep Maria Bartomeu.
He said on the coaching situation: “Koeman will be a coach until the end of his contract, without any doubt. Giving stability to the coach and the team always pays off.”
The bigger picture
Barcelona are crying out for continuity on and off the field, with it important for them to start addressing issues that are threatening to undermine collective efforts.
More points were dropped in their latest outing, which came on the back of a humbling reversal at the hands of PSG, with Cadiz holding them to a 1-1 draw at Camp Nou.
That stalemate has left Koeman’s side third in La Liga, eight points back on leaders Atletico Madrid.
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