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How much money FC Barcelona have to spend in january transfer window revealed, as Sterling is ‘crazy

FC Barcelona's dire financial predicament has long been the talk of the town in elite football

Hit hard by the pandemic with the doors to the Camp Nou and its museum bolted shut to the public from March last year until this summer, their debts hang at around $1.6bn with outgoings on salaries once standing at 103% even after Lionel Messi ended a 20-year relationship with the club and headed to PSG.

It is work in the payroll department that has at least given the Blaugrana breathing space, however.

Offloading Antoine Griezmann to Atletico Madrid, Emerson Royal to Tottenham Hotspur and La Masia pearl Ilaix Moriba to RB Leipzig has meant that the wage bill has plummeted from around $443mn to $112.5mn a year, which according to AS has "opened a door" for Ronald Koeman's first team "to be strengthened" in January.

Over at Mundo Deportivo, though, it is claimed that Barca will have just $18.5mn to spend in the upcoming winter market, which would somewhat limit their options in terms of the quality of player they could land.

MD say that the priority is a striker, with Raheem Sterling and Dani Olmo the chief targets. But with the Catalans reportedly having a bid of $87mn rejected for the latter-mentioned Spain attacker, who was previously on their books at La Masia, in August, they will fall some way short of meeting his price tag with Sterling not much cheaper.

Perhaps once again Laporta will depend on player sales to balance the books. Yet Sport say that it is a loan deal for England targetman Sterling that has been entertained first of all, with the Jamaican-born 26-year-old allegedly "crazy" to head to the Camp Nou since a failed summer coup.

Regularly failing to muster a single shot on target, local media say that Sterling "would greatly improve [Barcelona's] offensive performance", and with the three-time Premier League winner surplus to requirements at the Etihad under Pep Guardiola, the Mancunians might be keen to offload him in a "buy now pay later" arrangement which would suit the interested party down to the ground given their precarious financial predicament.