Story By: Juan Mayes, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Golder’s News And Sport
Barcelona are reportedly looking to sell Everton target Martin Braithwaite after his shock transfer as the club struggle with money problems.
Former Middlesborough forward Braithwaite, 28, signed for Barcelona from Leganes in February of this year in a controversial move that saw the forward change clubs outside the transfer window.
Barcelona were given permission to sign the forward after announcing French superstar Ousmane Dembele’s six-month absence after undergoing surgery on a right hamstring injury.
La Liga rules dictate if a club loses a player for more than five months to injury, they are allowed two weeks to make a signing outside the transfer window.
Braithwaite signed a contract with Barcelona until 2024 in February with a buyout clause of 18 million EUR (16.44 million GBP) which the club is reportedly keen to cash in on.
Spanish newspaper ‘Diario Sport’ claim “Barcelona will not sell him for less than “the 18-million-EUR buyout clause “under any circumstance”.
Despite the potential of millions to be made for Barcelona, they “are not closing the door to a possible continuation of the forward” at the club even “after June” as staff are “very satisfied” with him and think he “has a lot to offer”, according to Sport.
If Braithwaite ends up staying at Barcelona he may seem his minutes reduced as Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez, 33, and Dembele, 22, are expected to return for next season.
Braithwaite has played a total of 128 minutes in three matches for Barcelona and has yet to score a goal for the club.
However, he has performed well and started in Barcelona’s 1-0 win over Real Sociedad on 7th March before La Liga was suspended due to the coronavirus, officially named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization.
Local media report the move was prompted by Barcelona’s current money concerns as they struggle to pay their athletes as all competitions have been suspended due to COVID-19.
Premier League sides Everton and West Ham United have been reported to be the most interested in signing the Danish international forward.
It is unclear when or even if La Liga will start up again as COVID-19 continues to devastate the Iberian country.
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