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Barcelona's hostile takeover at Leganés for Braithwaite


Everything is in order: Dembélé has been certified as a long-term absentee and consequently Barcelona were given the green light to make an emergency signing. Braithwaite had a release clause of 18 million euros with Leganés and decided to execute it at the request of Barça. For the player it is a dream. He arrives at a club with only three strikers - Messi, Griezmann and Ansu Fati - so it is quite likely that he will feature in LaLiga, allowing Quique Setién to give players a rest. In the Champions League this season, he will not be able to play, but a few league appearances will shine a light on the career of someone who has so far gone relatively unnoticed.

January loss allowed resolution

'All in order', I said, but it is still a heartless act, an abuse, a hostile takeover by Barça at the small club of Leganés, who already suffered a similar impact in January, when Sevilla signed En Nesyri. Then, at least, they had a chance to alleviate the situation, and did so by taking Guerrero on loan from Olympiakos, and Sevilla handed them in part-exchange two promising young stars, forward Bryan Gil Gil, and defender Amadou, who had been at Norwich. They also brought in another attacker, Assalé, from Young Boys. All of them together, however, do not add up to what Nesyri gave, but it was something. At least they still had Braithwaite to give them goals.

Barcelona abuse of lowly Leganés

But now Barça have taken him away for 18 million and they have no option to sign a replacement. This is the system we have. If the 'loss' is due to serious injury, he can be replaced; if it is because a richer club has undermined you outside of the transfer window, he can't. The issue is all the more painful because of the feeling of abuse of the operation and because if Barça were so short staffed then it is because they wanted to be. They did, after all, release five players in January, including two strikers, Carles Pérez and Abel Ruiz. Anyway, Leganés is left with 18 million euros in the coffers, but have also been left in the lurch. They are fighting to avoid relegation and now it will be much harder. "I'm worried we'll be the richest in the cemetery," was the black humour used with me by an important member at the club.