Barcelona will have to get creative in order to ensure they keep Joao Felix and Joao Cancelo beyond the end of the 2023/24 season.
The two Portuguese signings on the last day have gained ground at Barcelona, and the question is now being asked how they will sign them on permanent deals. Neither seems simple.
According to Sport newspaper, Atletico Madrid allow a little more room for negotiation, as they are open to including players in a deal for Felix that would allow the Blaugrana to cut the cost.
However, seeing Felix’s value drop over the past year, a good season at Barcelona could put him back among the elite talents, at which point Los Colchoneros will no doubt sell to the highest bidder.
Meanwhile, Manchester City have little interest in swapping players, unless Barcelona are willing to include a big star in the deal for Cancelo.
That means Barcelona will have to find the money from somewhere, from potential sales, in order to keep the Portuguese defender, who could also recoup much of the value he lost in 2023.
The Catalan daily claims that initial discussions have taken place with their representative Jorge Mendes on how to approach this issue. It will include “imaginative formulas” if they reach one or both of these deals. Nothing has been suggested yet, and these ideas will not take further shape until the agent and club have the green light from the players.
It was always an inherent risk for the Blaugrana not to include a purchase option in loan deals for Felix and Cancelo, but it could have prevented the deals going through due to their salary cap restrictions.
In addition, Felix has admitted that he made financial sacrifices to go to Barcelona, and he may not be willing to do so for a second season in a row.