Barcelona 'couldn't afford' Nolito, confirms President, Josep Maria Bartomeu
The 29-year-old signed for Manchester City earlier this morning.
Barcelona president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, has confirmed that the club couldn't afford to buy in the January transfer window because their “ratio of debt” was against them. Luis Enrique and the club wanted to buy Manchester City and Spanish forward Nolito in the winter to reduce the burden on their front three Luis Suarez, Neymar and Lionel Messi.
Nolito just sealed his move to Pep Guardiola's Manchester City side this morning forcing Barcelona to chase other targets. Speaking to the press after signing Samuel Umtiti, Bartomeu confirmed just why they couldn't sign more players in the winter.
"In January, we did not make any signings because of the ratio of debt, not because we had a lack of money,” Bartomeu told Sport.
"He (Luis Enrique) understood. If you cannot pay for a car, you have to settle for another one. Despite that, it should be said that this is not common, but it is good that Barcelona shows that it is a club with economic control, with maturity and rigour.
“But I cannot confirm or deny if [Luis Enrique] has again requested the player for this summer transfer market.
"Had there been a player available on a free transfer, then we could have signed them."
Pep Guardiola has already bought three players for his new club in Iklay Gundagon, Aaron Mooy and Nolito. The Spaniard is in the process of shuffling a lot of the existing players with many exits planned.
Captain Vincent Kompany, midfielders Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri are all linked with moves elsewhere. He's also targeting a high-profile stiker signing with the likes of Alvaro Morata, Maurco Icardo and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all linked with the Citizens.
Barcelona, meanwhile, are targeting the likes of Paulo Dybala, Gabriel Barbosa and Riyadh Mahrez after sealing Samuel Umtiti. Luis Enrique is adamant he signs a forward this summer to ensure his front three are fresh for the whole season.