Barcelona signed both Joao Cancelo and Joao Felix on loan during the summer transfer window, but neither player is guaranteed to still be at the club this time next year.
Free transfers and loans have been the main priority for the Catalans in 2023 as efforts continue to be made to get the financial crisis that famously cost them Lionel Messi in 2021 in order.
Ilkay Gundogan and Inigo Martinez both joined as unattached free agents, while the only money spent on permanent transfers was the €3.4m (£2.9m) it took to re-sign Oriol Romeu. Conversely, nearly €80m (£68m) was raised through player sales, the bulk of which came from Ousmane Dembele joining Paris Saint-Germain. Nico, Franck Kessie and Ez Abde also left for cash.
90min explained last month that Barcelona were prepared to agree to an option to buy Cancelo outright from Manchester City in 2024. But the details regarding that element of the proposed deal was one thing that slightly delayed it being completed. In the end, there was no option.
Barca also didn’t negotiate an option for Felix when he arrived from Atletico Madrid.
“Neither Cancelo nor Joao Felix have a purchase option. It is a simple one-year transfer. If they do well, we will try to retain them,” new sporting director Deco said this week, summarising and confirming the club’s plans for both players beyond this season.
Both Cancelo and Felix, who are international teammates for Portugal, made their Barca debut as substitutes in the 2-1 win over Osasuna in La Liga at the start of September. Each will be hoping for a first start in the famous shirt when club football resumes at the weekend and Real Betis visit.