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Barcelona To Play Away From The Nou Camp For A Year, Need £1.27 Billion Loan To Finance Renovation

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Barcelona To Play Away From The Nou Camp For A Year, Need £1.27 Billion Loan To Finance Renovation

Barcelona are to play away from the Nou Camp for a year due to planned renovation of the iconic stadium.

The Blaugrana have been looking to expand their home for a number of years and had to delay the process, which will bring a new capacity of 110,000, a more modern arena and touch-ups on the surrounding areas.

During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu stadium underwent a refurbishment and they ended up playing at the 6,000 capacity Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium in front of no supporters.

With president Laporta hoping to start the 3-4 year revamping operation in the summer of 2022, Barca are likely to play their home fixtures at the Johan Cruyff Stadium.

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Image: PA
Image: PA

"We are considering different possibilities, but the strongest candidate is the Johan Cruyff Stadium," Laporta told Catalan radio station RAC1 on Friday, as per the Daily Mail.

"(The new Camp Nou) is fundamental for the viability of the club and its immediate future.

"The impact it will have for Barca is critical so that we can compete with our competitors who have already done what is needed."

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The club's women's side play at the UEFA Category 3 stadium named after Barcelona's legendary former player and manager, with the ground situated next to the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper training facilities.

It can house 6,000 supporters but Laporta wants that to be upped to 50,000 if the men's team play there.

Another alternative is to play at the Montjuic Stadium, which hosted the 1992 Olympic opening ceremony and has been used by Barca's rivals Espanyol.

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The project, which has been planned since 2016, is a costly one though and because of Barcelona's sizeable debt, they need to borrow the funds from elsewhere.

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Reports say Barcelona are in talks with investment bank Goldman Sachs over a £1.27bn loan to finance the Nou Camp redevelopment.

Laporta, meanwhile, has revealed he genuinely thought record goalscorer Lionel Messi would play for Barca for free even when Paris Saint-Germain came calling.

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"I did hope that at the last minute Messi would say that he would play for free," Laporta said, having seen La Liga refused the contract offer Messi agreed with the club.

"I would have liked that and he would have convinced me.

"I understand that the league would have accepted it. But we cannot ask that of a player of his level."

Featured Image Credit: Image: PA

Topics: Barcelona, La Liga

Josh Lawless
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