Barcelona's pursuit of Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has been put on hold until the club can raise funds from player sales, as they attempt to obey La Liga's strict financial regulations.
Like most clubs and businesses worldwide, Barcelona have felt the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis. However, the Catalan behemoths were already in a less than enviable financial position given the club's exorbitant wage bill before matchday revenue was taken away.
Yet, despite these constraints, Barcelona's new coach Ronald Koeman had targeted two marquee arrivals this summer in the form of Lyon's Memphis Depay and his compatriot Wijnaldum.
But these transfers have been blocked by the Spanish league's governing body according to The Mirror. Barcelona are thought to be operating with a wage bill in the region of £510 million-per-year although, the club did reportedly ask the team's captain and highest earner Lionel Messi to take a pay cut.
Last season's La Liga runners-up have also attempted to reduce this eye-watering wage bill by offloading Ivan Rakitic to Sevilla and are in the midst of negotiations regarding the departures of Arturo Vidal and Luis Suárez.
Any transfer fee Barcelona do pay this summer - following player sales - the same sum will have to be given to the Spanish government as the clubs were given financial help during the crisis.
La Liga's director of communications, Joris Evers, explained: “We have a financial system, which goes beyond UEFA’s Financial Fair Play.
"At UEFA they look at figures when a season is finished, we set the standards before the season starts. If Barcelona try to do a deal behind the scenes, our analysts will notice this immediately.
“The clubs agreed on this system as a reaction on a period when they were struggling to pay the wages of the players, because they'd overspent time and time again. Nobody wants to go back to that situation.’’
Source : 90min