Incoming Barcelona head coach Xavi will have less than €10m to spend on new players to strengthen the squad when the January transfer window opens.
The club legend returned to Camp Nou recently following the sacking of Ronald Koeman last month. Koeman oversaw a string of poor results before he was given his marching orders and Xavi joins with Barça ninth in La Liga with 17 points from their first 12 games.
That is not the only issue either. Off the field the club is in financial disarray, which has led to the high-profile departures of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann in recent times, with several other high-earning stars forced to take wage cuts.
In these circumstances, Xavi could not have been expecting much of a war chest in January but according to ESPN, the club’s spending power is set to be even lower than first thought.
Earlier this year, Barça CEO Ferran Reverter said that the new head coach would be handed €20m to spend, but due to the new contracts for Ansu Fati and Pedri, this figure has been halved.
La Liga already slashed the club’s spending cap for this season after several consecutive yearly losses, and in order to comply Barcelona will be tightening their belt in January.
Although he will not have much room to manoeuvre, Xavi is still keen to bring in some players. His priority is strengthening the forward ranks, which is understandable considering the issues they have had in this area this season.
Martin Braithwaite is out injured while Ansu Fati and Ousmane Dembele have suffered on-and-off fitness issues of their own. Sergio Aguero will also be out for at least three months after he was recently diagnosed with cardiac arrhythmia.
In addition, Luuk de Jong – signed on loan from Sevilla in the summer – seems unlikely to fit with Xavi’s tika-taka playing style.