Financial precarity hasn’t stopped Spanish soccer team Barcelona from bolstering its roster in almost every part of the field this summer.
From free transfers to splashing millions on top prospects from rivals, here are the moves Barcelona has managed to make despite its oft-buzzed about “money issues.”
Andreas Christensen (free, from Chelsea)
His salary is all Barcelona had to worry about when signing Danish center-back Andreas Christensen last month on a free move.
Having made his Chelsea debut in 2014, Christensen made 161 appearances for the English Premier League team, according to The Athletic. Christensen was part of teams that won both the Europa League and Champions League.
Franck Kessié (free, from Milan)
Franck Kessié’s move bolsters an already impressive midfield. ESPN reports on the competition the former Milan midfielder will face after Barcelona signed him for free after his contract expired in June.
“Kessie strengthens coach Xavi Hernandez’s options in midfield and will compete for a place in the team with Sergio Busquets, Pedri, Gavi and Nico Gonzalez.”
Kessié’s contract runs until 2026 and includes a hefty release clause, according to ESPN.
Jules Koundé ($55 million, from Sevilla)
Competition from Chelsea couldn’t keep Barcelona from notching its latest signing. Playing for head coach Xavi made the difference in French international Jules Koundé signing for Barcelona, Sports Illustrated reports.
Center-back Koundé made 32 La Liga appearances last season and has been a constant fixture in France’s national team, according to Sports Illustrated.
Robert Lewandowski ($49.5 million, from Bayern Munich)
ESPN reports that Lewandowski is the second most expensive soccer transfer ever over the age of 33.
What’s the expectation, then? Immediate continental success, according to ESPN.
“Given that Lewandowski will turn 34 on the day of Barça’s second league match, he’s at Camp Nou principally for immediate impact in the vastly lucrative Champions League ... ”
Raphinha ($63.8 million, from Leeds)
Barcelona’s most expensive summer signing thus far scored the only goal of a preseason game against rival Real Madrid in Las Vegas at the end of July, BBC reports. The Brazilian winger preceded Koundé in picking Barcelona over Chelsea this summer, according to The Athletic.
Despite plying his trade in England with Leeds, a move to Spain was his “dream” all along, FanNation reports.