Barcelona paid €15 million in advance to Atletico Madrid without signing the player involved
Never a dull day at the Barcelona offices, even with Josep Bartomeu long gone as the president. In fact, he has made (skid) marks on the club that the current administration is still trying to wash.
Back in 2019, Barcelona were strongly linked to Matthijs de Ligt, who was on the move from Ajax. His transfer fee was touted to be around €80 million, but his agent, Mino Raiola, demanded an extra €20 million in commission.
Bartomeu deemed that commission to be excessive and refused to sign the Dutchman. Atletico’s Gimenez was the alternative, whose price tag was around €80 million.
The Catalan giants were chasing Antoine Griezmann’s signature at the time, whose release clause stood at €120 million. Along with that payment, they forwarded an extra €15 million in advance for Gimenez.
This advance also included the first-refusal rights for other players in case Gimenez picked up an injury.
However, with the COVID-19 pandemic taking over the world, Barça did not have the resources to complete the signing later.