Barcelona president Joan Laporta insisted that his club will not ‘participate’ in signing players who demand extortionate personal terms and risk the finances of the club as he discussed in-demand strikers Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland.
Barca have tried to position themselves as a realistic destination for Haaland this summer, who is available for a release clause of £63m. However, any club who want to sign him – like Manchester City – will have to pay a considerable amount in salary, agent fees and other expenses on top of the transfer fee.
Laporta recently declared that Barcelona would walk away from any player if their wage demands broke their salary structure, and he has again repeated that stance in a fresh, strongly-worded rant to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo.
ALSO READ: Gundogan admission confirms what Man City players want this summer
Asked specifically about Haaland, and his comments on possibly walking away from a deal, Laporta reacted firmly by insisting that the ‘sustainability’ of the club comes before the desire to sign any one player.
“I insist, I will not talk about specific players but I can tell you that we will not carry out any operation that puts the institution at risk,” he said.
“It has been a maxim that we have followed since we became president again, it happened to us in various circumstances and we are going to continue with this philosophy and this criterion, not to put the institution at risk with operations that, not even if we were already healthy, we would
“So, you can talk about players, about big-money operations in which Barca is not going to lose its head. That the partners and the partners are calm because we are not going to lose our heads for an operation of these magnitudes. Most of the players want to come to Barca, they like the club, the team, our philosophy, our way of working, of understanding football.
“And this is good, we are verifying it in many cases and daily. They will have to adapt to Barca’s salary levels and to an economic structure of the operation that maintains the sustainability and balance of the club.”
Before discussing Haaland, Laporta had been asked about Barcelona’s chances of signing Kylian Mbappe from Paris Saint-Germain after they beat fellow suitors Real Madrid recently
“We already know that this is part of the world of football, that the big clubs are interested in great players,” he said.
“But I’m not going to enter, and you have to allow me not to, to talk about players because if I do, the only thing I can do is harm the interests of our club.
“If we talk about a player and we had the intention of signing him, we would increase the price. Neither with this player nor with others do I want to comment on issues because it would harm the interests of the club.
“The sports management are working to improve our squad, which is getting better and better, we are more and more satisfied. I want it to be clearly understood that we prioritize the team above all else, a team reinforced in each of its lines and what we do not participate in is raising players or looking for players who are more than the team.
“What we want to strengthen is the team we have that plays based on a genuine Barca system. The club thinks that this is what the football team needs, this genuine style that for me is the key to everything and is what we have to do , a team that can play this system with highly talented players.
“We are working so that the salary limit that we have, which according to La Liga is negative in a significant amount, to reverse it in order to incorporate players that reinforce the team. We are doing it in parallel, working on the financial issue and obtaining more resources to have the salary margin we need, and at the same time we are working from the sports management to incorporate reinforcements that we think the team needs to be increasingly competitive.”
Sign up to our City newsletter so you never miss an update from the Etihad Stadium this season.