The postponement of the presidential elections in Barcelona has had a negative impact on the club’s transfer plans. A contract for Eric Garcia is now to be put on hold until the summer.
Barca manager Ronald Koeman also hoped to sign another striker in January, with Lyon’s Memphis Depay being a target but will have to work with the players he already has by the end of the season.
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Barca were due to elect a new president on January 24th after Josep Maria Bartomeu stepped down in October after a move aimed at placing him before a vote of no confidence.
However, after a meeting on Friday, it was decided, in collaboration with the local government, that with the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Catalonia, it would be irresponsible to hold the elections next week.
Incumbent President Carles Tusquets met three presidential candidates Joan Laporta, Victor Font and Toni Freixa later on Friday to discuss a new date.
March 7th has been agreed which means Barca will be without a president through the January transfer window.
Tusquets does not have the authority to sign, but sporting director Ramon Planes has worked with Koeman on contracts for the future president to sign.
Ronald Koeman will have to wait to strengthen Barcelona’s squad. Photo by David Ramos / Getty Images
There is a loose agreement to sign Manchester City defender Garcia, who was no longer under contract in the summer, for a fee of around € 6m. However, the three candidates declined to approve the signing.
“”[Tusquets] informed us that there is a possibility to sign Eric Garcia, “Laporta confirmed to reporters after the meeting on Friday.
“But he no longer has a contract in June and would be available for a free transfer – as long as the existing sports structure at that time gives the green light for signing.”
“The club has told us there is no money. You have to look for inventive ways to pay.” [City]. So we have to see in June when there are no transfer costs. “
With Gerard Pique out for the foreseeable future with a knee injury, Koeman was keen to add another center-back this month after failing to leave Garcia, who left Barca in 2017, last summer.
The Dutch coach has also been open about his desire to sign Depay from Lyon, another player who will be available for free at the end of the season.