The pandemic is very likely to have financial losses in the accounts of many football clubs. It will though, have an even bigger impact on clubs that were already in debt and were not doing too well financially. Barcelona are one of the clubs that were in some debt because of their poor handling of the transfer affairs.
And because of this, they can be forced to sell players. The early signs are that this might be true. One of the players that they might have offload to improve financially is Junior Firpo.
Reports from Mundo Deportivo have stated that Roma and Napoli are looking at the possibility of signing Firpo, with Torino also interested. Most of the leading football tipsters are suggesting a move to Serie A is Firpo’s preferred destination if he does have to leave. While Barcelona fans might not like this prospect of a deal, but it is a harsh reality that might be facing the club at this point and Firpo might just help the club make some financial profits.
The former Real Betis man had arrived at the Nou Camp last summer, despite links with Liverpool and Manchester United. The move came in slightly surprising fashion. Initially, it was reported that the English clubs were looking to trigger his release clause to sign him. But the manner in which Barca signed him was very different.
Despite the release clause, the Catalans roped him in for just £16.3 million– a fee that was nothing compared to the actual release clause. It was dubbed as a very good deal for Barcelona- one that saved them money and gave them a quality option at left-back and left-wing.
This season, Firpo couldn’t make himself a regular part of the Barca first-team. He’s made only 12 La Liga appearances, with nine being starts. In the Champions League, he made three starts while Jordi Alba played regularly in the bigger games.
His progress has often been derailed by injury, but he’s missed only three games because of that earlier in the season.
It isn’t tough to remember how important a player Firpo was for Quique Setien at Betis. He was a regular for him at left-back or left wing-back, depending on the formation. He has made three starts under Setien at Barca too, grabbing one assist in the league.
But he has generally been a back-up to Alba and is seen as a long-term replacement for him. But his cheap signing makes Firpo a rather easy target for a potential sale. The fact that they signed him cheaply means that they can offload him for a bigger fee and earn some money for a potential replacement in the summer.
It isn’t to say that the Spaniard is a bad player. Back at Betis, he was known to be an attacking full-back who had contributed to seven league goals last season. His versatility makes him a player who can trouble defences and he was a key part of the Spanish U21s side that won the Euros in 2019. It was after that trophy win that Barca had signed him.
Ideally, he shouldn’t leave and deserves a chance. But the situation is such that there is interest in him and Barca could easily spark a bidding war and sell him for a profit. He is still young and they can get a good yield.