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Is there a method in Joan Laporta’s madness at Barcelona?

Playing the long game

FC Barcelona v Getafe CF - LaLiga Santander Photo by Joan Valls/Urbanandsport/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Another transfer window over and, frankly, the end of this summer’s shenanigans couldn’t come soon enough.

Most Barca fans would surely have known that desperate measures were required, though it’s doubtful that any would’ve countenanced Leo Messi being told that he’d have to move on if he wished to continue his glorious career.

Antoine Griezmann being sent packing on deadline day for a third of what he was purchased for is a little disappointing, but necessary.

Bear with me here...

Real Madrid v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Joan Laporta effectively gets into bed with Real Madrid, and then backs them to the hilt on Super League and La Liga matters.

Florentino, by way of returning the favour, agrees not to approach Mino Raiola for Erling Haaland.

Raiola, who has a very favourable relationship with Laporta, perhaps more so than with any other club president, says that if Barca want Haaland, he has to be the main man, so no Leo.

In order to afford him, Griezy also has to go, with others out the door between now and next summer.

Then from 2022/23 onwards, we have the new battle royale between Haaland and Mbappe that focusses all eyes back on La Liga. Everyone’s a winner.

Pie in the sky? Possibly.

Though it seems to me that there is very much a feeling with Laporta that he’s playing a longer game.

The club clearly has to get out of the horrible mess that Josep Maria Bartomeu and his board have left them in somehow.

Has Laporta made mistakes since his appointment? Undoubtedly. However, he is battling against a very strong current and still has his head above water, just about.

If we can see out this season, which might as well be written off now as another transitional period, then surely better times await.

Levante UD v Sevilla FC - La Liga Santander Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

The groans about Luuk de Jong, Ilaix leaving yada yada.... understandable, but there has to be a point where there’s also an understanding of the very real seriousness of the financial mess.

Laporta can’t just click his fingers or rub his magic lamp and expect it all to go away.

The only possible issue ahead is if the team don’t qualify for the Champions League. Under Ronald Koeman, you never really know what Barca you’re going to get from one week to the next so it could be another rollercoaster few months.

I’m satisfied that the president is doing his best at this point, with the caveat that improvements will need to be made.

In 12 months time it will be the proper time to judge him, not now. He’s only just getting started...