Ernesto Valverde probably didn’t anticipate that life would be this difficult when he signed on the dotted line to replace Luis Enrique as the new head coach of Barcelona.
Expectation is always high when a new manager is brought in to guide the Blaugrana to even more success, but his reign started in crazy fashion – for the wrong reasons.
Rather than creating a massive splash in the transfer window by announcing a marquee signing, they’ve had to deal with the shock exit of Neymar who departed for Paris Saint-Germain in a €222 million deal.
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With that sort of fee received, Barca officials should be able to throw cash at any club and bring in some huge reinforcements to add to the signings they’ve already made in Nelson Semedo, Gerard Deulofeu and Paulinho.
It’s been tougher than usual, though, as Liverpool have zero interest in selling Philippe Coutinho for over £100 million, while Borussia Dortmund have reportedly given the Catalan giants a deadline to reach an agreement with Ousmane Dembele, but that too is proving to be an unnecessary headache.
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You could argue that these are just the latest in a long line of transfer failures this summer, as PSG had the last laugh when they kept hold of Marco Verratti who had been linked with a move to Camp Nou for months, before snatching Neymar from them too.
While Angel di Maria has emerged as a target, it’s OGC Nice’s Jean Michael Seri who has been revealed as one of three signings Barca are looking to make before the Spanish transfer window shuts on September 1.
It was thought that €40 million would be enough to land the Ivorian as he had a release clause in his contract, but this chase is going to be tough for Barca too as the club has come forward to claim that the release clause no longer exists.
While some outlets have reported that Seri has agreed terms with the La Liga outfit, L’Equipe is claiming that Nice informed them of the €40 million release clause – but it expired on July 15 and believe he’s now worth more than that figure, but are refusing to put a price on the player.
Nice know Barca are desperate to make additions as time is running out, so they could be prepared to pay whatever the Ligue 1 side asks for to get this deal done quicker.
Considering the Neymar saga had understandably been well-documented, smaller clubs can’t be blamed for trying to squeeze a little more out of them, knowing how much they have to spend.
Now we have to wait and see whether the Blaugrana are willing to negotiate the price, or whether they’ll refuse to budge from the initial €40 million fee.
What do you make of Barcelona’s summer transfer activity so far? Have YOUR say in the comments section below.
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