Football

Published: Saturday March 8, 2014 MYT 1:32:02 AM
Updated: Saturday March 8, 2014 MYT 1:32:35 AM

Barcelona have transfer budget of up to 60 million euros

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Barcelona will have up to 60 million euros $83.2 million (49.7 million pounds) to spend on new players in the close season, according to the man in charge of their economic affairs.

"Barca is in a position to buy four players," vice president Javier Faus told Catalunya Radio. "We have between 50 and 60 million euros net for signings."

The club brought in one player last summer, the controversial signing of Neymar that prompted allegations of misappropriation of funds and tax evasion and resulted in the resignation of president Sandro Rosell.

Including a payment of 13.5 million euros to the Spanish treasury after fraud charges were laid against the club, the Brazil forward ended up costing just under 100 million euros, close to the record fee arch rivals Real Madrid paid for Wales winger Gareth Bale last year.

Barca did not sign anyone in the January transfer window, disappointing some fans unhappy with a series of shoddy displays in defence.

At the least, the Spanish champions will need replacements for goalkeeper Victor Valdes and captain and central defender Carles Puyol who have said they are leaving at the end of the season.

There are also question marks over the futures of reserve goalkeeper Jose Manuel Pinto and full back Martin Montoya because their contracts expire in June.

Borussia Moenchengladbach sporting director Max Eberl hinted in January that Marc-Andre ter Stegen would replace Valdes after the Germany keeper rejected a contract extension with the Bundesliga club.

The 21-year-old has a contract until 2015 but Eberl said he had turned down a new deal and the Bundesliga outfit had decided to allow him to join "a top European side".

Barca may be in the market for a second new centre back as academy graduate Marc Bartra has yet to win the full confidence of coach Gerardo Martino.

(Writing by Iain Rogers in Madrid, editing by Tony Jimenez)

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