CAMP NOWT

BARCELONA’S crisis situation looks set to go from bad to worse after the club were told by LaLiga they will need to slash their salary bill by £57MILLION.

The Spanish giants have underwhelmed in the league this season, sitting in third place behind Girona and eight points behind league leaders Real Madrid.

But that gap may stretch over the next few years after Barcelona’s financial situation got even worse amid a feared exodus of players.

LaLiga announced the Blaugrana would be having their permitted salary limit cut down from £231m to 174m for the 2024/25 season.

With the club’s real squad cost – the total of salaries and transfer amortisations – for this season officially budgeted at £421m, they are some way over budget and will need to make significant cuts.

Add to this the fact Uefa are not accepting Barcelona’s plea to accept future media sale revenues in their FFP calculations, which could yet land the club a Champions League ban, and you have a far-from-ideal scenario.

It means Barcelona will need to sell a host of their most valuable players to stay in line with the rules or face a transfer ban.

And all this will happen while having to also convince a new manager to come in and take the reigns after club legend Xavi Hernandez announced he was stepping down at the end of the season.

Big names who have been linked with the exit door include but are not limited to Frenkie de Jong – who remains on a colossal wage – Robert Lewandowski, Gavi, Raphinha, Ronald Araujo and Pedri.

De Jong was linked with a summer departure to Manchester United two seasons ago before the move fell flat due to the Dutchman’s lack of stomach for a move.

However, recent reports suggest the 26-year-old has changed his tune and is now open to an Old Trafford switch.

With his contract up in 2026, Barca still have £65m to amortise when considering the transfer fee they paid to Ajax and the remaining value on his contract.

So if Man Utd come calling again they will smell a chance to make some money back, though De Jong is also said to be settled in Spain.

Robert Lewandowski seems to have finally hit the other side of the mountain in his remarkable football career. — The Sun.

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