Bayern Munich head coach Julian Nagelsmann called Barcelona’s signings in the current transfer period “crazy”, especially in light of the financial crisis that the Catalan club is going through.
Barcelona have suffered financially over the past two years, forcing them to ditch Argentine star Lionel Messi for PSG, but that hasn’t stopped him from kidnapping Polish star Robert Lewandowski from the Bavarian club in a €45m deal. .
The Catalan club also signed Leeds United’s Brazilian Rafinha this summer for €55m, in addition to the free inclusion of Danish defender Andreas Christensen and Ivorian midfielder Frank Kissier after their Chelsea and AC contracts expired. Milan respectively.
And the administration of Joan Laporta, president of Barcelona, is still working to try and secure more deals, such as Spanish defenders Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso, also from Chelsea.
On Wednesday, Nagelsmann from Washington, D.C., where his team is on a pre-US tour, was surprised by Barcelona’s activity in the summer transfer market, saying: “They’ve bought a lot of players, I don’t know how.”
“This is the only club in the world that has no money but can buy any player, this is crazy for me. They find solutions. I don’t know how, but yes, they have a better team than last season.”
Bayern Munich tried to stick with Lewandowski’s services and keep him at least until his contract expires in the summer of 2023, but the Pole appeared determined to leave, and he has confirmed this since May, when he said: “Of course, my history with Bayern ” the end”.
Lewandowski, 33, left the Bavarian club after establishing himself as one of the top goalscorers in its history, scoring 344 goals in all competitions in his eight seasons in the ranks.
The Polish striker has scored 40 goals or more for seven consecutive seasons, but his €45m departure “was a good deal for Bayern” according to Nagelsmann, adding: “It’s tough. He scored many goals and was one of Bayern’s big stars.
And he added: “But he still would have left, if not for this season, then it would have happened next season. So we would have this problem (go and try to fill the void) a year from now and that’s why it wasn’t a bad deal for Bayern.
The German champions over the past ten seasons have anticipated Lewandowski’s exit by adding Senegalese Sadio Mane from Liverpool, and he has bolstered his defense by signing Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt from Juventus for €67m.
It also included young Dutch midfielder Ryan Grafenberg and Moroccan international right-back Nassir Mazraoui of Ajax Amsterdam.
And Nagelsmann is not the first Bayern official to be surprised by how Barcelona are performing in the transfer market despite a suffocating financial crisis, having been preceded by former Bavarian club president Uli Hoeneß when he said in June when the Catalan giant asked Lewandowski: “It is clear that they are financial figures, because, despite the presence of a large debt, they always find a bank that gives them money to make such offers.”
In March 2021, Barcelona revealed that he was in huge debt, financial problems and a large salary.
The club has since paid off debt, secured a new loan from Goldman Sachs and signed millions in sponsorship deals, notably with music-streaming giant Spotify.