Piqué cuts salary and allows Memphis, Eric Garcia and Rey Manaj to be registered in La Liga
Koeman will be able to use all signings except Agüero for tomorrow's La Liga opener at Camp Nou
BarcelonaAnd, finally, the new signings of Barça have been able to be registered. Not all of them, of course, as the injured Agüero has not yet been registered in La Liga, unlike Memphis, Eric Garcia and Rey Manaj. Barça has announced that it has registered these three players in La Liga de Futbol Profesional (the Spanish league) this morning, with 24 hours left for their debut against Real Sociedad, thanks to the agreement reached with Gerard Piqué for the second Barça captain to significantly lower his salary. In this way, Ronald Koeman will be able to count on all the players available for the game this Sunday with Real Sociedad, corresponding to the first day of the competition.
Barça needed to sell players or cut wages to register the new signings and Manaj, who has played the last few seasons in the subsidiary. And with a transfer market at a standstill, it has only been able to reach agreement to cut the salary of Piqué, a player who from day one had made it clear that he was willing to cut his salary to help the club. Just a year ago, after losing 2-8 against Bayern, the defender was already the only one to put his future on the table. "If we have to leave, we'll leave", he said. Today he was the first to agree on a necessary gesture for the future of the club. And Barça sources admit that the first day he spoke to Laporta he made it clear that he would not be a problem. In fact, in the end he has been a solution. Negotiations are still open with other players to further cut a skyrocketing wage bill. The next player to agree on a reduction could be Jordi Alba, who is negotiating this weekend, or Sergio Busquets. According to the club, the predisposition of the two "is total".
President Laporta explained that without Messi the wage bill of the club has fallen from 115% to 95%. That is, 95% of the club's income goes to salaries, a figure that is not allowed according to the rules of La Liga. Now, thanks to Piqué, it would have fallen to a level that the club has not detailed.
The Dutchman Memphis was a request from Koeman, who already managed him both at Manchester United and at the Dutch national team. And, in fact, he has been one of the most prominent players in a preseason that has also left details by Manaj, the first player of Albanian nationality to play at Barça. Manaj could leave if offers come, like the other centre forward of the team, Martin Braithwaite. At the moment, however, the Dane insists on not leaving the club. Nor are talks to bring Miralem Pjanic back to Juventus going in the right direction, with the Torino club prioritising the signing of Manuel Locatelli. This avenue of business, however, is not closed. Another player who could also make his debut is the defender from Martorell, Eric Garcia, who, on his return home after a few years at Manchester City, could be Piqué's defensive partner.
In addition to Depay, Eric Garcia and Manaj, Barça had already registered the Brazilian full-back Emerson Royal, since in the eyes of La Liga's current rules he is a player who is back from being loaned to Betis, a club with which Barça shared the operation to sign him in Brazil. On the other hand, Kun Agüero, who will be ten weeks injured due to his calf, will not be registered in the Spanish competition until the Barça is able to to empty the dressing-room via another transfer or cession.
So far this summer, Jean-Clair Todibo has left for 8 million euros to Nice and Junior Firpo to Leeds United for 15 million euros. In addition to the loan of Trincao to Wolverhampton Wanderers for 6 million and the sales of Carles Aleñá to Getafe for 5 million and Konrad De la Fuente to Olympique de Marseille for 3.5 million, the latter two operations with a 50% stake because the right of repurchase is maintained. To these operations the termination of Matheus Fernandes' contract must be added.