Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets has agreed further reductions and deferrals to his salary to help the club reduce their wage bill to comply with LaLiga’s fair play rules, it has been confirmed.
Busquets becomes the third Barca player to take what has been dubbed a “substantial” pay cut after Jordi Alba and Gerard Pique accepted similar reductions.
The Spain international is also still owed money by Barca from previous deferrals, after he agreed to help the club cope with the financial fallout caused by the pandemic.
Busquets, 33, has been at the club since 2005 and his contract runs until 2023. He is the first-team captain following Lionel Messi’s departure to Paris Saint-Germain.
However, Barca have failed to reach an agreement with Sergi Roberto over a similar deduction. Roberto, 29, is willing to reduce his pay but is not happy with the terms proposed by the club.
Roberto’s contract expires next summer and sources have told ESPN that Barca are willing to extend his deal by an additional two years but with a 40% pay cut.
Roberto has much bigger offers on the table from elsewhere. In January, he will be free to sign a pre-contract agreement with another club. Negotiations with Barca continue.
Pique’s pay cut enabled the club to register Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia for the new season, with Alba and Busquets’ sacrifices likely to make room for Barca to register Sergio Aguero with LaLiga.
Barca must adhere to LaLiga’s spending limit in terms of salaries and transfer fees. In the 2019-20 season, prior to the pandemic, they had a cap of over €600m. Last season that dropped to €347m and it’s expected to fall to around €200m for the upcoming season as their revenue drops and debt rises.President Joan Laporta recently put the club’s net debt at €1.3 billion.