Barcelona’s summer spree is not about building a team but selling a story | Jonathan Liew

Barça are spending money recklessly to maintain a myth, but in the modern superclub era it is unlikely to cost them dearlyRobert Lewandowski has signed a four-year deal with Barcelona, which means he probably has a good 18 months before they ask him to take a wage cut. Give or take. Naturally a good deal depends on how much deeper into their financial quarry Barcelona have managed to dig themselves in the meantime. Perhaps, alternatively, Lewandowski will be asked to defer a portion of his salary, or maybe amortise it into 420 easy monthly instalments, or accept payment in the form of $BAR fan tokens.This is the perk of being the world’s biggest and most incoherent club: there is always another lever to squeeze. Bankrolled by the partial sale of their broadcast rights for the next 25 years, Barcelona have brought Lewandowski, Raphinha, Franck Kessié and Andreas Christensen to the Camp Nou this summer. César Azpilicueta, Jules Koundé and Bernardo Silva are also being pursued. In a way this is the most mystifying part of Barcelona’s spending spree, over and above the question of where the money is coming from. What sane player would join this ridiculous club in the first place? What have they been told? And just what, exactly, are Barcelona playing at?

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