Barcelona, May 19 (EFE).- Barcelona president Joan Laporta will have to address several challenges as he begins his second spell with the club mired in crises on and off the pitch.
With debts mounting and their finances drained by Covid, as well as a playing squad in desperate need of fresh faces and a club icon seemingly on his way out of the Camp Nou, Laporta will need to address multiple areas next season if he is to lead the Catalan giants back to domestic and European glory.
Although Laporta has admitted that this season marks the end of an era for the first team, the project already seemed to be over after last years’ 8-2 Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich.
Seven players involved in that infamous defeat started in Barcelona’s 3-3 draw against Levante at the weekend which all but ruled them out of the race for the LaLiga title.
Laporta’s task at rejuvenating the playing staff is also hampered by the fact that players, including Lionel Messi, are either out of contract, meaning they can leave the club for free, or are locked into expensive multi-year deals, making any departures less likely.
Without the financial power to muscle their way into the summer transfer market, the Blaugrana will be forced to look inwards, turning to the likes of promising yet unproven crop of current players like Araujo, Mingueza, Dest, De Jong, Pedri, Ilaix, Riqui Puig and Ansu Fati.
Laporta will need a star to lead them and there is no one better than captain and talisman Lionel Messi, whose contract expires this summer and who almost left the club last season after falling out with Laporta’s predecessor.
The new president’s good relations with Messi and his entourage would not be enough to convince him to stay, but a winning project would.
But without resources, it will not be ambitious enough for Messi, but rather a medium to long term plan which may not be ideal for the star who soon turns 34-years-old.
Laporta will also need to address the coaching position, with support for coach Ronald Koeman fading as Barcelona’s season has spluttered to a conclusion.