The summer transfer window is yet to officially open for business in La Liga. But Barcelona have been making quite the waves already, having made four new signings in a short time.
While the incoming players have brought in a feeling of optimism around Camp Nou, it cannot be ignored that Barcelona are still a club mired in financial difficulties. And, in order to balance the books and achieve some sort of stability, the Catalan giants will need to make cuts to the roster this summer.
A report from ESPN has now shed some light on how Barcelona plan to reduce their massive wage bill before the next campaign kicks off. This wage bill becomes an even bigger problem once Lionel Messi officially puts pen to paper for his renewal.
Four days after the completion of the 2020/21 season Barcelona had 23 members in their first-team squad, with at least ten more names set to be added by Thursday (July 1) in the form of returning loanees, promotions from the B team and the confirmed new signings.
A bloated squad with quite a few of the players on huge salaries mean things are a bit unsustainable at Barcelona, needing them to take drastic measures to get some control over the wage bill. And, in an attempt to do just that, the Blaugrana have identified 11 dispensable players in the squad and have put them on the transfer list, in hope of getting them off the books.
The 11 players in question include club-record signing Philippe Coutinho, who has had a forgettable time with Barcelona, World Cup winning-defender Samuel Umtiti, whose injuries have taken a toll on his standing at Camp Nou as well as Miralem Pjanic, who has been with the club for less than a year.
Other first-team stars who find themselves on the chopping blocks include backup goalkeeper Neto, second-choice left-back Junior Firpo, last year’s emergency signing Martin Braithwaite, academy graduate Carles Alena and Portuguese prodigy Trincao, who has failed to get going at Barcelona.
Youngsters Jean-Clair Todibo, Moussa Wague and Matheus Fernandes also find themselves transfer-listed by the Blaugrana. Offloading these 11 players from the squad would shave off a whopping €200 million from the club’s wage bill, which should help Barcelona avoid difficulties with the contract renewal of captain Lionel Messi and allow room for the addition of new players.
However, the problem now is that there are not many clubs out there willing to take on the aforementioned players, especially with the salaries that some of them are on. So, a tricky period awaits Joan Laporta & co. as he looks to sort out the mess left behind by his predecessors.