Barcelona are still struggling to offload Philippe Coutinho, Miralem Pjanic and Samuel Umtiti
Pressure is mounting on Barca to cut costs ahead of the 2021-22 campaign, with the club currently in danger of being unable to register any of their four new signings or Lionel Messi – who became a free agent at the end of his last contract in June.
Barcelona want to sell several players
Barcelona are still struggling to offload Philippe Coutinho, Miralem Pjanic and Samuel Umtiti amid their ongoing wage crisis. Pressure is mounting on Barca to cut costs ahead of the 2021-22 campaign, with the club currently in danger of being unable to register any of their four new signings or Lionel Messi – who became a free agent at the end of his last contract in June. The likes of Jean-Clair Todibo, Carles Alena, Junior Firpo, Francisco Trincao and Matheus Fernandes have already been moved on. Still, the Blaugrana will also need to sell several more high-profile first-team stars to get below La Liga’s strict wage limit. Memphis Depay, Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia and Emerson Royal have all been officially unveiled at Camp Nou this summer. Still, none of them will be eligible to play until Barca can balance their books.
Messi has extended his contract at Barcelona
Six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi, meanwhile, has agreed to terms on a new five-year deal that includes a hefty pay cut, with several more players likely to have to reduce their earnings in the coming weeks. Head coach Ronald Koeman has also identified who will not be part of his plans for next season. That list includes three players currently earning over €10 million per annum – Coutinho, Pjanic and Umtiti. Barca forked out €141m to bring Coutinho to Camp Nou from Liverpool in January 2018. Still, the midfielder’s market value has dropped significantly since then due to his persistent struggles for form and fitness. The Brazilian made just 12 Liga appearances in the 2020-21 campaign after returning from a loan spell at Bayern Munich and still has two years left to run on his current contract.
Barca are willing to take a heavy loss on their initial investment. Still, they won’t accept less than €40m for Coutinho, who has been linked with a handful of clubs in both the Premier League and Serie A. Umtiti, meanwhile, has already received several offers from potential suitors, with the Blaugrana prepared to let him depart on a free transfer. Still, none of the interested clubs are willing to pay him even half of what he currently earns in Catalonia. Pjanic joined Barca from Juventus in a swap deal that saw Arthur head in the opposite direction to the Allianz Stadium last summer. Still, the Bosnian playmaker has since been unable to nail down a regular spot in Koeman’s lineup.