Clearly, there's still some way to go on this front, but Barcelona appear to be learning from their mistakes.
Indeed, the start of their current malaise can be traced back to the summer of 2017. While the idea of any club paying £198m for one player was (and still is) ludicrous, perhaps when looking back, it was inevitable.
Given the rise of state-backed clubs desperate to make a statement to the established elite, Neymar's move to Paris Saint-Germain now looks obvious. After all, if money is no object, why not try and rob a European rival of one of their best players?
Now the game has changed, Barca (and other clubs) have started to increase the buy-out clauses they insert into contracts. That is a legal requirement in Spain but now fees of around £200m don't sound quite so crazy, there's been a concerted effort to raise the bar.
According to Fabrizio Romano, midfield sensation Pedri is gearing up to sign a new deal at Camp Nou following his impressive rise. The 18-year-old is now a regular for club and country and, as a result, Barcelona are reportedly looking to reward him.
Included in the potential deal is a stunning €1bn buy-out clause. Now, we may get to a stage where that isn't so prohibitive to buying clubs but, for now, the idea of that being met is fanciful, particularly in a post-pandemic world.
Still, the whole thing had us at GIVEMESPORT thinking, what are the highest release clauses in football?
Information below is provided by Sportmob (unless stated otherwise).
=10. Sergi Roberto - Barcelona - €500m
=10. Gerard Pique - Barcelona - €500m
=10. Gareth Bale - Real Madrid - €500m
=7. Marco Asensio - Real Madrid - €700m
=7. Isco - Real Madrid - €700m
=7. Vinicius Jr - Real Madrid - €700m (via BeIN Sports)
=4. Brahim Diaz - Real Madrid - €750m
=4. Federico Valverde - Real Madrid - €750m
=4. Luka Modric - Real Madrid - €750m
3. Antoine Griezmann - Barcelona - €800m
2. David Alaba - Real Madrid - €850m (via Der Spiegel)
1. Karim Benzema - Real Madrid - €1bn
So, as you can see, Pedri would move into joint-first position alongside Karim Benzema.
On the face of it, that should be more than enough to ward off any interested parties. Football, however, has a way of throwing things up we simply do not expect.
If it doesn't, Barcelona have quite the midfielder to build around.News Now - Sport News