The 2022-23 La Liga season begins this weekend, with Real Madrid as champions, but Barcelona is determined to dethrone them after an eye-catching summer spending spree.
Real Madrid reportedly wanted Paul Pogba, but in Tchouameni, they have acquired a player who, along with his new club colleague Eduardo Camavinga, represents the future of France’s midfield.
Tchouameni, 22, joined the European champions from Monaco for a fee that is said to be worth up to 100 million euros. After an outstanding two-and-a-half years in Monaco, he has signed a six-year contract.
Tchouameni began his career at Bordeaux, where his father is a pharmacist. Last year, he made his full international debut for France and has since won 12 caps. He’ll help Madrid’s veteran midfield trio of Casemiro, Toni Kroos, and Luka Modric.
– Bayern Munich for 45 million euros plus five million euros in add-ons to Barcelona.
Given the club’s massive debt, Barcelona’s close-season transfer business has been remarkable. President Joan Laporta oversaw a fire sale of Barcelona’s current and future assets in order to strengthen the squad now, including the sale of 25% of the club’s domestic television rights for the next quarter century to an American investment fund.
As a result, they have gone into the market to make five major signings, the most notable of which is that of The Best FIFA Men’s Player for 2021, Robert Lewandowski. Despite the fact that the Pole will turn 34 later this month, Barcelona agreed to pay Bayern up to 50 million euros for him. The player has agreed to a five-year contract.
Barcelona is bringing in a striker who scored 344 goals in 8 years at Bayern Munich as they seek their first Spanish title since 2019 and their first Champions League since 2015. They simply need to ensure that he and the rest of their new recruits can be registered, but La Liga’s strict financial control rules are complicating matters.
– Sevilla to Barcelona for a reported 50 million euros plus a bonus of 10 million euros.
Barcelona’s defense arguably needed reinforcements more urgently, and the Catalans had already swooped to sign Chelsea’s Andreas Christensen before committing another large transfer fee to sign Kounde from La Liga rivals Sevilla.
After three outstanding seasons in Andalusia, the 23-year-old French international centre-back, who played alongside Tchouameni at Bordeaux, signed a five-year contract at the Camp Nou. His arrival could hasten Gerard Pique’s departure from coach Xavi Hernandez’s first-team plans.
– Free transfer from Real Madrid to Sevilla After nine seasons at Real Madrid, Isco has returned to his native Andalusia to sign a two-year contract with Sevilla. The 30-year-old former Malaga attacking midfielder appeared in four Champions League finals with Real, but by last season, his influence had waned to the point where he did not appear in Real’s run to another European title, and he started only three La Liga games.
Isco, on the other hand, will now look to relaunch his career with Sevilla, who finished fourth last season and are looking to add depth as they prepare for a Champions League campaign. He intends to repay coach Julen Lopetegui’s faith in him. “I need to demonstrate to him that he did not make a mistake,” he explained.
However, after losing Diego Carlos and Kounde to Aston Villa, Sevilla desperately needed to strengthen their defense this summer.
– Free transfer from Borussia Dortmund to Atletico Madrid.
After four years in Germany, the 33-year-old Belgian international joins Atletico on a one-year contract. Witsel should be an ideal fit for a Diego Simeone team, bolstering an Atletico midfield that has lost Hector Herrera to Major League Soccer. During pre-season, he was also used in central defense.
Whether he can turn a team that has also lost Luis Suarez into a genuine title contender again remains to be seen.