The most active club in the summer's European transfer window is the same club that a year ago was close to ruin. Back then, Barcelona could no longer afford to keep Lionel Messi, with a debt north of a billion euros. The way back would be careful financial management, and the blooding of youngsters from the La Masia academy, Pedri, Gavi and Ansu Fati.
Messi's high salary and almost €1 billion (S$1.42 billion) spent on busts like Philippe Coutinho, Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele and Miralem Pjanic had near-bankrupted them. But now Joan Laporta, the president who led the club's revival in 2003, and through the early Pep Guardiola years, is leading a strategy where the plan is to mortgage the club's future to fund yet more hefty spending.