Barcelona Must Offload 10 Players To Afford Messi Renewal: Report

Lionel Messi


Lionel Messi’s contract renewal at Barcelona is proving problematic with the 34-year-old’s deal having expired at the end of June and a new deal still yet to be announced.

President Joan Laporta continues to insist that “everything’s going fine” but the club’s financial problems suggest that is not quite the case. According to Xavier Bosch at Mundo Deportivo, Barca must offload another 10 players to be able to finance Messi’s new deal.

Konrad de la Fuente, Francisco Trincao, Jean-Clair Todibo, and Junior Firpo have already moved on, while Brazilian midfielder Matheus Fernandes has seen his contract at the club terminated.

Bosch reports that more departures are needed and mentions players such as Samuel Umtiti, Miralem Pjanic, Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembélé, Neto, Carles Aleñá, and Martin Braithwaite as players who could all leave.

Yet there is another solution which Barca could contemplate. Selling high earners Antoine Griezmann and Sergi Roberto would be enough to trim the wage bill and renew Messi.

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Barcelona Must Slash Wage Bill

Barcelona’s finances are in such a mess that the club can’t currently register new signings Sergio Aguero, Emerson Royal, Eric Garcia or Memphis Depay, according to Rubén Uría and Adrià Soldevila at Goal Espana.

The Catalan giants must first cut the wage bill by a massive €200 million to comply with La Liga’s salary cap. The report adds that offloading Umtiti, Pjanic, and Coutinho would trim €64 million from the wage bill. The club has already saved €25.7 from the departures of Konrad, Trincao, Todibo, Matheus and Junior.

However, more exits would still be needed to register the four new players and confirm Messi’s new contract. All of which means Barca has some tough decisions to make before the start of the new La Liga season.

Griezmann Or Messi For Barcelona?

Barcelona may end up having to sell Griezmann just to keep hold of Messi, according to Juan Jimenez at AS. The club’s “current financial predicament” and Messi’s new deal could see the Frenchman having to pack his bags.

The report adds that Griezmann is “one of the highest earners at the club and with the arrival of Depay and Agüero may find a place in the starting XI harder to come by” next season.

Griezmann is said to have “no intention” of leaving currently and is away on holiday after his exploits at Euro 2020 with France. Yet Barca may have little choice but to listen to offers if they are to stick within La Liga’s salary limits.

Indeed Toni Juanmarti at Diario Sport has said that “unless there’s an unexpected twist” it’s unlikely Messi and Griezmann will both be wearing the Barcelona shirt next season.

Barca shouldn’t lack for attacking power if Griezmann does go with Ansu Fati, Memphis Depay, Sergio Aguero all set to battle for a place in attack with Messi. Yet the club may struggle to receive anything like the €120 million they shelled out on Griezmann in 2019.

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