Barcelona Must Sell Big Name to Finance Messi Renewal: Report

Ousmane Dembele


Barcelona’s difficult financial situation means the club may be forced to sell a big name this summer in order to finance a contract extension for club captain Lionel Messi.

The Argentine is out of contract at the end of June but is set to sign a new two-year deal with the Catalan giants after being persuaded to stay at the Camp Nou by new president Joan Laporta, as reported by Pol Ballus at The Times.

However, the club’s “woeful finances” mean the club may have to consider offers for players such as Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Ousmane Dembele, Antoine Griezmann or even hot prospect Ilaix Moriba to ensure the wage bill meets La Liga rules, according to The Athletic’s Dermot Corrigan.

La Liga president Javier Tebas has already warned the Catalan giants they must make salary cuts to be able to afford a new deal for Messi, as reported by Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens at ESPN.

“Barcelona have exceeded their wage cap, I hope they can keep Messi, but to do so, they will have to make cuts elsewhere,” Marsden wrote. “The severity of the situation depends on the resources they are capable of generating. Barca have to restructure their debt. If they manage that, the situation won’t be serious. But they have taken their wage bill to the limit. And when football has coughed-or, better put, punctured a lung-they haven’t wanted to absorb that loss of income. They must take measures.”

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Is Messi Renewal Bad News for Griezmann?

One player who is being tipped to depart this summer is Griezmann. The Catalans have already decided it is best for the France international to leave this summer, according to Ferran Correas at L’Esportiu.

Griezmann is one of the club’s highest earners and has had quite the impact at the club during his two years with Barca, particularly for a player who cost 120 million from Atletico Madrid.

Correas reports that Messi’s renewal means that Barca needs to cut 200 million off the wage bill. Removing Griezmann’s salary would be a small step in the right direction, although further sales and loans would also be needed to make the numbers add up.

Barcelona Departures Now ‘Urgent’

Barcelona will need to make sales soon with preseason now just two weeks away. The players are due back for medical check-ups on July 9 and 10. The first training session ahead of the new campaign will take place on July 12.

The Catalans have already signed Eric Garcia, Memphis Depay, Sergio Aguero, and Emerson Royal but now need to “urgently” release some players, according to Mundo Deportivo‘s Roger Torello.

The arrival of the new signings and emergence of youngsters such as Oscar Mingueza and Ilaix Moriba means there are now 32 players in the first-team squad ahead of the new campaign.

Torello adds that defender Jean-Clair Todibo could be the first to leave with the center-back set to make his loan move to Marseille permanent. Yet Barca will need to shift more players to comply with La Liga rules, meaning there could be plenty of transfer activity in the coming weeks.

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