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Barcelona administration considering the sale of 29-year-old key first-team star



(Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Barcelona’s financial situation saw them being unable to hold on to superstar Lionel Messi this past summer while they were also forced to offload Antoine Griezmann late in the transfer window in order to reduce their wage bill.

But with things still not looking good on the economic front, the Catalans could be forced to consider offloading more high-value players in order to make cuts to their payroll as well as generate some funds from the sales.

And, as per a report from Catalan publication El Nacional, one player whose sale is now being discussed is that of first-choice goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen. The 29-year-old has been with Barcelona since 2014, when he arrived from Borussia Monchengladbach.

Having evolved into one of the best goalkeepers in Europe during his time at Camp Nou, the German international is a key part of the Barca setup. Indeed, to date, ter Stegen has racked up 287 appearances to date, keeping 113 clean sheets in the process.

While there are no doubts over his quality, the report states that Barcelona are concerned by his steep wages. Furthermore, the Catalan giants see the German shot-stopper as one of the few players who could help them bring in large proceeds from a sale.

In addition to that, there are concerns that ter Stegen’s form has somewhat dipped since his return from injury that also needed surgery.

Should the Blaugrana decide to go ahead and sell the 29-year-old, there seem to be no shortage of suitors. German record champions Bayern Munich have been keen on ter Stegen as a long-term replacement for compatriot Manuel Neuer.

In addition, the likes of Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea would also be ready to put a big offer to sign him, the report adds.

Replacements lined up already

Should Barcelona indeed decide to offload ter Stegen, they already have identified a replacement for the German international. AFC Ajax shot-stopper Andre Onana, who has a history with the Catalan giants, having spent time within the La Masia, is on top of the shortlist, the report states.

The Cameroonian international will be a free agent at the end of the season, with his contract running out. Apart from Onana, Tottenham Hotspur and France captain Hugo Lloris is also an option under consideration, given as he would also be available on a free transfer.

Finally, the third option for Barcelona would be to promote from within the club, with Inaki Pena and Arnau Tenas both showing great potential within the youth and B team ranks.

Ter Stegen signed a new contract in October last year, extending it till 2025. Selling him with the club in a transition phase might not be the smartest move from Barcelona.

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