The contract renewal of Lionel Messi continues to pose a huge challenge for Barcelona as they look to find ways to accommodate his new deal while remaining in line with the Fair Play rules set in place by La Liga.
To that end, Barcelona have taken steps to cut down their bloated wage bill by securing the exits of Jean-Clair Todibo, Konrad de la Fuente, Matheus Fernandes, and Junior Firpo while they continue to look for ways to offload out-of-favour duo Samuel Umtiti and Miralem Pjanic.
Even if the two are off the books, it might still not be enough for the Catalans to incorporate Messi’s new contract without breaking the salary cap imposed by La Liga. So, as per a report from SPORT, Barca may have to let one of the bigger fishes go in order to re-sign their No. 10, who as things stand, remains a free agent.
Au revoir Griezmann?
The report indicates that cutting French superstar Antoine Griezmann from the roster could be critical for Barcelona in order to retain Messi’s services moving forward. The 30-year-old has been with the Blaugrana for two years now, having arrived in a mega-money deal from rivals Atletico Madrid.
Even though the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner showed signs of form towards the end of the last term, Griezmann has been a pale shadow of his brilliant former self, having been unable to reproduce his best form in Barcelona colours.
And, with the summer acquisition of Memphis Depay, a player that was specifically asked for by manager Ronald Koeman, and Sergio Aguero, who happens to be Messi’s best friend, Griezmann might find himself staring at a reduced role at Camp Nou in the upcoming campaign. Indeed, it has been claimed that Koeman is planning to use a front-three of Messi, Aguero, and Depay moving forward.
Ansu Fati is also back in the reckoning after his long-term injury, meaning Griezmann’s game-time could suffer. With things being the way they are, Barcelona are now considering the possibility of offloading the Frenchman, which would not only raise significant transfer funds but also create room for Messi’s new contract.
Jota Jordi claimed on El Chiringuito TV that Barcelona plan to inform Griezmann of their decision to sell him this summer imminently, with the Catalan giants having already spoken to clubs who could sign the Frenchman.
No lack of interest in Le Petit Prince
Griezmann, for his part, would remain open to an exit as long as his current terms at Barcelona are matched by his suitors while guaranteeing him regular game-time, which will be crucial considering that the FIFA World Cup takes place next year.
And, it seems like there is no shortage of suitors for the 30-year-old either with the aforementioned report claiming that PSG remain interested amid the uncertain future of Kylian Mbappe. In addition, there are several Premier League clubs keen as well.
Adding on that, Alex Silvestre on El Chiringuito TV, has claimed that Griezmann already has two offers from teams in England while his former club, Atletico Madrid are also keeping an eye on the entire situation. So, as things stand, the 30-year-old could be set to depart from Camp Nou so that Messi remains at the club.