The state of Barcelona’s finances are unlikely to have been a surprise to Xavi Hernandez when he agreed to take over the managerial role from Ronald Koeman.
With back-to-back wins in La Liga, and the destiny of their Champions League campaign still in their own hands, the former midfielder has had a reasonable enough start to his reign.
However, he will already be steeling himself for expected disappointment just a few weeks after getting his feet under the table.
That’s because he’s unlikely to be able to strengthen any part of the first-team squad in January, once the transfer window opens.
“Xavi has asked us to reinforce the squad and we are going to try to do so, but at the moment we have no salary margin to do it,” president, Joan Laporta, told TV3, cited by MARCA.
“Therefore, at this moment it is not possible but we must let the sports management work.”
If the status quo remains, it will provide an immediate test of Xavi’s skills in the role.
Still way behind rivals, Real Madrid, in the league table, the challenge to haul themselves up into title contention will undoubtedly be the biggest of his managerial career to date.
Unless the club are willing to sell any of their prized assets or are lucky enough to have someone buy any of their fringe players, it’s likely to be a long, hard season.