Robert Lewandowski cleared to make Barca debut after club trigger final 'economic lever'

Kessie, Christensen and Raphinha also now available to face Rayo Vallecano but Kounde remains unregistered with La Liga

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Barcelona have registered four of their new players including marquee signing Robert Lewandowski in time for their first match of the new La Liga season on Saturday.

Midfielder Franck Kessie, defender Andreas Christensen and forward Raphinha are also now available to face Rayo Vallecano. However, defender Jules Kounde remains unregistered with La Liga.

Barca have spent an estimated €153 million on transfer fees this summer — despite well-publicised financial problems — with Lewandowski's capture from Bayern Munich the most impressive.

The Catalan club had to meet La Liga's salary cap to register their new signings but several "economic levers" including new investment deals released funding after the final lever was triggered.

Barcelona would have to free up so-called salary mass to register 23-year-old France defender Kounde, according to Marca.

"So in the next few days, players in the squad will have to leave," claimed the daily.

Kounde joined at the end of July from La Liga rivals Sevilla on a five-year deal for a reported fee of €50 million, with €10m in bonuses.

There have been a string of departures out of Camp Nou, including Philippe Coutinho, Oscar Mingueza and, more surprisingly, Riqui Puig, while Barca also hope to sell Frenkie de Jong to Manchester United, though the player is reluctant to leave.

La Liga restrictions also affected players who renewed deals in the close season but forward Ousmane Dembele and defensive midfielder Sergi Roberto have now also been registered.

Barcelona have been using several mechanisms to increase their revenue in order to offset losses, reduce debt and fulfil La Liga's financial fair play rules.

The club said on Friday they had sold a 24.5 per cent stake in their audiovisual studio to production company Orpheus Media for €100 million ($102.58 million) to raise funds.

Barca last month signed a deal with digital fan token firm Socios.com to sell 25 per cent of their stake in Barca Studios.

Barcelona have already sold 25 per cent of their domestic television rights for the next quarter of a century to US investment firm Sixth Street for some €400 million.

The biggest summer transfers

Updated: August 13, 2022, 5:47 AM
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