Lewandowski’s Potential Exit: Barcelona Faces Free Transfer Dilemma

Lewandowski's Potential Exit: Barcelona Faces Free Transfer Dilemma

A strange clause in the contract of Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski may allow him to leave the La Liga winners in 2025 on a free transfer.

Lewandowski bid farewell to Bayern Munich after eight years of record-breaking performances, leaving the German champions in a €45 million (£38.6 million) deal to join Barcelona.

The 35-year-old had an incredibly successful first season at Camp Nou, tallying 33 goals overall and setting a league record 23 goals in La Liga to aid Barcelona in winning the championship.

Lewandowski's Potential Exit: Barcelona Faces Free Transfer Dilemma

With eight goals and four assists from 16 appearances in La Liga and the Champions League, Lewandowski has continued where he left off at the beginning of the 2023–24 season. His contract is set to expire in 2026, with an option to extend it by one year.

Barcelona apparently consented to raise Lewandowski’s compensation every season he plays with the Catalan giants, beginning with a €20 million (£17.2 million) salary for 2022–2023—despite their well-documented financial woes.

Since then, the Poland international’s salary has increased to €26 million (£22.3 million) annually. If he stays with the team for a third season, he would receive €32 million (£27.5 million) for that campaign.

But Sport says Barcelona can end Lewandowski’s contract in 2025 under specific circumstances to protect themselves from possible financial ruin if the striker’s abilities decline.

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According to the article, La Blaugrana has the option to terminate his contract in the last year of his current contract, 2024–25, if he does not participate for at least 45 minutes in five hundred fifty percent of their games.

In the event that the former Dortmund player is unable to live up to his exceptionally high standards over the next few years, the option gives Barcelona and Lewandowski a way out. However, his salary is expected to drop to €26 million (£22.3 million) for the 2024–2025 campaign.

Given his age, Lewandowski is now Barcelona’s sole centre-forward on the books, but Xavi’s team is expected to look into possible replacements in the coming months.

The head coach of Barcelona has admitted that, after signing Joao Felix on loan from Diego Simeone’s team, he attempted to persuade Alvaro Morata of Atletico Madrid to join the team.

Felix has been playing a backup role to Lewandowski in the 2023–24 season, but President Joan Laporta has talked up a permanent deal for him at the end of the campaign.

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Next year, a contract to sign Vitor Roque, a starlet for Atletico Paranaense, will also go through. However, it is not anticipated that the 18-year-old would start for Barcelona every week right away.

Seven points behind leaders Real Madrid in the La Liga standings, Xavi’s team is currently in fourth place. They will be back in action on Sunday night when they take on Atletico Madrid.

Gavi’s Setback: Barcelona Officially Confirms ACL Tear

Gavi's Setback: Barcelona Officially Confirms ACL Tear

In Spain‘s Euro 2024 qualifying match against Georgia, midfielder Gavi completely tore his anterior cruciate ligament, according to Barcelona, and he will have surgery shortly.

The 19-year-old played the entire 90 minutes for La Roja in their 3-1 victory over Cyprus on Friday, and Luis de la Fuente started him in the starting lineup for Valladolid’s meeting with Georgia, their last Group A match.

But with twenty-six minutes remaining, Gavi twisted his knee trying to control a long ball, winced as he limped across the pitch, and was eventually replaced by Oihan Sancet.

Gavi's Setback: Barcelona Officially Confirms ACL Tear

Immediately following concerns that the teenager might have suffered a season-ending injury, Barcelona has now confirmed the worst, stating that Gavi has suffered a full tear to his ACL.

The lateral meniscus of the previous Kopa Trophy winner has also been injured. An operation is planned for the next several days, following which a new report will be made public.

“Tests carried out on Monday morning on the first team player Gavi have shown that he has a complete tear of the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and an associated injury to the lateral meniscus,” the club said in a statement. “The player will have surgery in the coming days after which a new medical update will be released.”

The La Liga winners said, “The Andalusian midfielder is a firm favourite among the fans,” and gave supporters the opportunity to post a note of support for the young player on their website.

“Gavi gives everything he has when wearing a Barca shirt, and his spirit and tenacity on the pitch define him as a player. That’s why his injury is a major setback for all Barca fans.”

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The Spain international is anticipated to spend at least seven and maybe up to nine months in the treatment room, missing the remainder of the domestic season, while Barcelona made no assumptions regarding the duration of Gavi’s absence.

Spain is also worried that they won’t be able to use the Barcelona player in the Euro 2024 tournament, which they had already qualified for before losing to Georgia 3-1 on Sunday thanks to goals from Robin Le Normand, Pau Torres, and an own goal by Luka Lochoshvili.

La Blaugrana might potentially get up to €5 million (£4.4 million) in compensation, according to Mundo Deportivo, after the Spanish Football Federation reportedly infuriated them by endangering Gavi in a very meaningless match.

Gavi, who made his debut in the 2021–22 campaign, has been a key member of Xavi’s system this year, making 15 appearances across all competitions, scoring two goals and assisting on another.

Since joining Barcelona in 2015, the La Masia alumnus has made 111 appearances for the Catalan giants across all competitions, tallying seven goals and fourteen assists while also taking home the Golden Boy and Kopa Trophies in 2022.

Due to a back issue, Barcelona’s first-choice goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen withdrew from the Germany squad, raising two new injury concerns for the team. Gavi is one of them.

Prior to the start of domestic football, which sees Xavi’s team travel to Rayo Vallecano on Saturday lunchtime, Frenkie de Jong (ankle) and Sergi Roberto (calf) have also been under the care of the Barcelona doctors. However, it is thought that both players and Ter Stegen will be fit for that match.

Barcelona Chief Deco Doubts January Signings

Barcelona Chief Deco Doubts January Signings

Barcelona sports director Deco has admitted that making any signings during the January transfer window will be “difficult.”

Despite their financial difficulties, the La Liga champions were able to bring in five new players during the summer transfer window, with Oriol Romeu joining from Girona and Ilkay Gundogan and Inigo Martinez joining on free transfers.

In the last days of the summer transfer window, Barcelona also sealed loan deals for Manchester City’s Joao Cancelo and Atletico Madrid’s Joao Felix.

Barcelona Chief Deco Doubts January Signings

There have been reports that Catalan coach Xavi has identified central midfield as an area in need of improvement when the winter transfer window opens.

Deco, on the other hand, has conceded that any January signings are improbable due to the club’s financial position.

“It will be difficult to sign anyone in January,” Deco said, according to Mundo Deportivo. “We are always ready in case an opportunity presents itself, but I don’t think it will be possible.”

Barcelona has agreed to sign Athletico Paranaense youth Vitor Roque, but Deco has stated that a mid-season move for the attacker is not guaranteed.

“It doesn’t solely depend on the efforts of the club,” he said. “There is some of it that does, but some of it does not.”

“Vitor is a player we signed for the future and the present.” We have faith in him, but we’ll have to see what we can do. We’ll have to wait and see how things go. If not now, it certainly will be in July.”

Roque, 18, has 27 goals and 11 assists in 78 games for his current club in all competitions, and Barcelona is said to have beaten a slew of prominent European clubs to his signature.

The La Liga club’s desire to sign the teenager in January rather than July stems from Xavi’s current lack of options in the final third of the field.

Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, and Lamine Yamal are all now injured, which will be a concern ahead of Sunday’s La Liga match against Athletic Bilbao.

Alejandro Balde, Jules Kounde, Frenkie de Jong, and Pedri are all absent, but the club is confident that a number of players will return for the El Clasico against Real Madrid on October 28.

Barcelona is still unblemished after a good start to the season, despite being reduced to a 2-2 tie by Granada before the international break.

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