The summer has seen a flurry of activity on the transfer front from Barcelona, as the Spanish club has added five new players to their roster. If they can't figure out a way to make the numbers work, all five of them will have to watch the season opener from the stands.
Franck Kessie, Andreas Christensen, Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, and Jules Kounde are among the Blaugrana's latest additions who are not yet eligible for registration. Xavi Hernandez's team are also unable to sign the re-signed Ousmane Dembele or Sergi Roberto.
Though they were permitted to suit up for exhibition games, these athletes won't be able to compete in the following season until they sign up with the league. The Catalan giants have been having financial difficulties, therefore their request to register all new players was denied by La Liga.
Gerard Pique offered to play for free at Barcelona
By pulling the fourth lever, Barcelona will be able to produce additional revenue, which will greatly aid the club's efforts to sign their new summer recruits. One of the club's veterans, though, is willing to assist the team in cutting expenses after having done so last summer.
According to Spanish newspaper AS, Gerard Pique has even suggested playing for free for the upcoming season. However, Barca turned him down. Thus, The Athletic reports that the 35-year-old defender has agreed to re-sign at a lower salary in order to facilitate the club's registration of new players.
The Camp Nou management had previously demanded that Pique, De Jong, Ter Stegen, and Lenglet revert to their prior contracts after the club's lawyers found 'proof of criminality' in the 2020 deal signed when Bartomeu was in charge. As a result, more questions will be asked about De Jong's future.
It is believed that the agreement is nearing completion after the former Spain international and his agent met with Joan Laporta, Rafael Yuste, and Mateu Alemany at a restaurant in Sant Just Desvern last Wednesday. Since one star has already committed to helping the squad, the Spaniards are counting on other stars to do the same.