Barca president: We won't sell Yamal or make big-name signings

Joan Laporta president of Barcelona salutes the players after the game Final Supercopa de España Femenina match between Barcelona and Levante at Estadio Municipal de Butarque on January 20, 2024 in Leganes, Spain.

Joan Laporta, president of Barcelona, told Mundo Deportivo on Saturday that the club rejected all offers to sell their young stars, even when offered as much as 200 million euros (about $217.3 million).

The La Liga powerhouse has been dealing with deep financial problems for years. In order to meet the financial sustainability regulations of the Spanish top league and UEFA, the club will have to make a dent in their huge debts of one billion euros (about $1.09 billion) this summer.

Many clubs facing a similar situation would sell their star players, as under football's financial rules, this counts as pure profit, and it would work better financially if Barca's star players are their own academy graduates.

"We're receiving crazy bids for players like Lamine Yamal around 200 million euros (about $217.3 million) and we're rejecting, of course," Laporta said. "We trust Lamine and we don't need to sell. We received bids for Balde, Fermin, Pedri, De Jong, Araujo, Gavi… we don't want to sell our stars."

Yamal, 16, is one of Spain's biggest rising stars. He became the youngest player and goalscorer for the national team after netting against Georgia in 2024 UEFA European Championship qualifying on September 8, 2023. He scored six goals and delivered seven assists for Barca in 39 appearances this season.

"Of course, if someone wants to leave, we won't stop them. But I'm not worried at all about that, we want to keep the same squad," Laporta said.

Keeping the same squad may not be the best choice for Barcelona if they want to make a difference next season. They are currently in the second place in La Liga with 64 points after 29 games, eight points behind the leaders Real Madrid. They reached the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals for the first time since the 2019/20 season and will face Paris Saint-Germain.

Last month, Barca's sporting director Deco told Esports3 that the club won't make big signings when the summer transfer window opens. Laporta confirmed Deco's remarks.

"It's just that we don't see it as necessary. There will be some tweaks," Laporta told Mundo Deportivo. "Prioritizing the team there will be one or two additions, who will make the team. Players of the caliber of Lamine, Lewandowski, Joao Felix, Ferran and Raphinha who are very strong and always contribute to the team."

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