Jules Kounde has not been registered to play for Barcelona ahead of their La Liga opener against Rayo Vallecano.
Barcelona had hoped to register all of their new summer signings this week after raising £85m from selling 24.5 per cent of Barca Studios to Orpehus Media – but Kounde will have to wait to make his debut after the list of registered players was announced on Friday night.
Robert Lewandowski (£42.5m), Raphinha (£55m), Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie, who all joined during this transfer window, have been included in the squad ahead of their opening fixture at home to Rayo Vallecano on Saturday.
Ousmane Dembele and Sergi Roberto have also been registered after agreeing new contracts, while Barcelona are yet to complete the transfer of Marcos Alonso from Chelsea and Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva remains a top target.
Barcelona’s 23-man squad vs Rayo Vallecano
Goalkeeper: Marc-André ter Stegen
Defenders: Sergino Dest, Gerard Pique, Ronald Araújo, Andreas Christensen, Jordi Alba, Sergi Roberto, Eric Garcia, Samuel Umtiti
Midfielders: Sergio Busquets, Pedri, Ferran Torres, Miralem Pjanic, Franck Kessie, Frenkie de Jong, Nico Gonzalez.
Forwards: Ousmane Dembele, Robert Lewandowski, Ansu Fati, Memphis Depay, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Raphinha, Martin Braithwaite.
Barca had to meet La Liga’s salary cap to register their new signings but several “economic levers” including new investment deals released funding after the final lever was triggered.
Barcelona would have to free up so-called salary mass to register 23-year-old France defender Kounde.
Barcelona have been using several mechanisms to increase their revenue in order to offset losses, reduce debt and fulfil La Liga’s financial fair play rules.
Orpehus Media, an audio-visual production company with a long history of producing content, is managed by Jaume Roures.
Barcelona’s summer signings:
- Robert Lewandowski – Bayern Munich, £42.5m
- Raphinha – Leeds, £55m
- Andreas Christensen – Chelsea, free
- Franck Kessie – AC Milan, free
- Jules Kounde – Sevilla, undisclosed
A club statement read: “The agreement complements the one signed on July 29 with Socios.com, and will help to accelerate the growth of the club’s digital, NFT and Web.3 strategy.
“The sale was conducted under authorisation of the General Assembly of FC Barcelona members last October 23.
“With this investment the strategic partners in Barça Studios show confidence in the value of the project and the future of digital content in the world of sport.”
Chelsea ready to sign Barca duo De Jong and Aubameyang
Chelsea are ready to sign Frenkie de Jong and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang if Barcelona allow both players to leave this month.
Manchester United agreed a £72m fee to sign De Jong last month but he is owed £17m in deferred wages and will not agree to leave until he is paid. Barcelona want him to stay but only if he agrees to take a significant pay cut and accept a £6m settlement for his deferred wages.
Chelsea are willing to match United’s £72m offer and unlike United, they can offer De Jong Champions League football.
Aubameyang moved to Barcelona on a free transfer from Arsenal in January. He has three years left on his contract. Although manager Thomas Tuchel has been reluctant to talk about Aubameyang in public, he is keen to work again with a player who scored 79 goals for him in two seasons at Borussia Dortmund.
Tuchel confirms Alonso exit
Tuchel confirmed Marcos Alonso is close to leaving Chelsea and that he requested not to be in the squad to face Everton last weekend.
“That is the case,” he said in his press conference after the 1-0 win at Goodison Park on August 6.
“He tried to leave, and we agreed to his wish. It wouldn’t have made sense to put him on the pitch today, in this situation it was the right thing to do.”
Bernardo: I’m happy at City but unsure of future
Bernardo Silva has revealed he is happy at Manchester City, but has no idea about what the future holds, amid interest from Barcelona.
The Portuguese midfielder has seen the likes of Garbiel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Oleksandr Zinchenko leave the Etihad Stadium this summer but admits he will always be respectful to his club.
“I’ve always said that I’m happy here, but I have no idea what’s going to happen,” he told ESPN. “We’ll see, honestly. My relationship with the club is very honest.
“I’ve been open with them and they know what I want. If I stay, I’m very happy, and I will always respect this club and give all my best. If not, it’s football and we’ll just see what happens.
“They always say to all of us that if you’re not happy, you can go. Of course, they are in business and they want the right amount of money for letting us go, but personally it’s a relationship with the club that is very respectful. They have always been honest with me and I have always been honest with them.
“As I said, I will always respect my relationship with Man City, with the fans, with the staff, with my teammates, so whatever happens happens and for sure, it will happen in a very respectful way.”
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