MADRID – The suspension of Spanish soccer competitions due to the coronavirus pandemic has put organizers in a quandary over what to do with players’ contracts that expire on June 30 in case the season is not over by then.
But the uncertainty created by COVID-19 makes it impossible to foresee the next move.
LaLiga chairman Javier Tebas told the Cuatro TV channel on Monday that he is “convinced that it will end.”
Sources within the Association of Spanish Footballers insist that “everything is conditioned by the declaration of the state of alarm.”
“Sports contracts are of a fixed duration. It will have to be seen if these contracts will have to be extended and that affects, at the same time, the license, because the professionals are bound by the license, that’s where FIFA, UEFA and the Federation come in,” the legal manager of AFE, Maria Jose Lopez, told EFE.
LaLiga’s Espanyol and Granada have been following the situation closely to see whether the season will be extended beyond June 30.
By then, contracts of 11 Espanyol players would expire.
The same number of Granada players would see the end of their contracts at the end of June, seven of them are on loan.
Second-choice goalkeeper Antonio Adan is the only Atletico Madrid player whose long-term contract expires in the summer.
In the light of a great performance, Slovenian goalkeeper Jan Oblak has forced the Spaniard to settle for a secondary role.
Belgium Yannick Carrasco plays at the Wanda Metropolitano on loan until June.
No Barcelona player will end his contract this summer, beyond giving Turkey’s Arda Turan an administrative discharge, due to the amortization of his five-year contract struck in 2015.
Barcelona, however, reportedly seeks to sell Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic whose contract expires in 2021.
Chile’s Arturo Vidal also has been reportedly linked with a move outside the Camp Nou as his contract with Barcelona ends next summer.
Media reports have reported several options the Spanish club is considering to address the economic burden players’ wages represent in the current situation.
The club has been reportedly planning to implement temporary layoffs for first-team players amid the current situation.
In Real Betis, second-choice right-back Antonio Barragan and homegrown Edgar Gonzalez will be free agents by the end of June.
The club intends to renovate the latter’s contract as coach Rubi counts on him.
The loan contracts of Carles Aleńa and Alfonso Pedraza are to expire by the end of June, although the club has an acquisition option in the latter’s deal.
Espanyol’s concerns are much bigger as 11 of its players will see the end of their contracts by June 30.
The Catalan’s woes do not stop there, as its future in the first-tier competition is in the air since it holds the last spot in LaLiga standings, six points away from the safe zone.
The players whose contracts are up are: goalkeeper Diego Lopez, center-backs Bernardo Espinosa and Naldo; wingers Didac Vila, Sebastien Corchia and captain Javi Lopez; midfielder Ander Iturraspe; and Chinese striker Wu Lei, Uruguayans Jonathan Calleri and Facundo Ferreyra, and Spain’s Victor Campuzano.
Granada is also concerned about 11 of its players, only four of them have had long basis links with the club.
These four are Ismail Koybasi; Roberto Soldado, Aaron Escandell and Alvaro Vadillo.
Real Madrid has only one player whose contract ends by June 30; substitute goalkeeper Alphonse Areola.
He joined the Spanish powerhouse on loan, following the departure of Keylor Navas for Paris Saint Germain.
His future at the Santiago Bernabeu is not clear.
The loan contracts, on the other hand, could be a source of concern, with a total of 12 players loaned to other clubs until the end of June, excluding Martin Odegaard, who plays for Real Sociedad on loan for two seasons.
Sevilla already knows that Ever Banega, one its icons, was going to leave at the end of the season to Saudi al-Shabab.
Manuel Agudo, best known as Nolito, will see the end of his contract at the end of June, as will do Sergio Reguilon (Real Madrid) and Yassine Bono (Girona), both playing on loan at Sevilla.
Argentine central defender Ezequiel Garay is Valencia’s only player whose contract expires by the end of June.
He has been struggling with a torn ligament he suffered a month and a half ago and that will prevent him from playing until the next season.
Before the injury, he had engaged in talks with the club and the contract renewal loomed.
The loan contracts of Alessandro Florenzi of Italy and Jaume Costa will end by then.
Midfielder Santi Cazorla, whose career was revived as he joined Villarreal last season, will see the end of his contract by June 30.
His contract, however, includes a clause to extend it for one more year.
Bruno Soriano, who did not play a competitive match since the 2016-2017 season due to injuries, is still a Villarreal player.
His future, however, is not clear.