Barcelona to reduce wage bill by 200m euros for Messi, Aguero, Depay to play: Report

The club has sold a few players this season but their overall wage bill is still a whopping 200 million euros over the salary cap.

Lionel Messi in a file photo. (Image: Twitter)

FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta has been dealt a rather tough hand ahead of next season. It has been recently reported that the club are way over their salary cap and therefore, players with new contracts cannot be registered for next season until the wage bill is reduced. These players include the likes of new signings Sergio Aguero, Memphis Depay, Emerson Royal, and club legend Lionel Messi. The club has sold a few players this season but their overall wage bill is still a whopping 200 million euros over the salary cap. If the club fails to do so, Messi will have no choice but to look elsewhere since he will not be able to play any football if he is not registered for the new season.

The Blaugrana has already offloaded a number of players and there are others in talks for the move elsewhere. Francsico Trincao has already been loaned out to Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers, Juan Miranda has joined Real Betis on a free transfer, Konrad de la Fuente has joined Ligue 1 side Marseille, Jean-Clair Todibo has been sold to OGC Nice, and Matheus Fernandes has been released.

The players who are linked with moves away from the Camp Nou include the likes of Junior Firpo who is linked to Leeds United. Miralem Pjanic and Samuel Umtiti are on the transfer list for the Catalan club as well. However, it is impossible for the wage bill to fall below the cap even if all of the moves go through. The options Laporta has left are implementing a pay cut for the players, or selling some big names.

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The club could have had the option of selling the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele, but their injury situation has rather complicated things for the club. Their alternative, and possibly one of their last resorts be selling French player Antoine Griezmann as per Catalan newspaper Marca. The former Atletico Madrid attacker has sorely disappointed in Blaugrana colors, and yet remains on a substantial wage.

However, it will be imperative for Laporta to get a big sum for Griezmann as the club still owes a portion of his transfer fee to Atletico Madrid. If recent domestic performances are anything to go by, it is unlikely that they will be able to get anywhere near what they paid for for the Frenchman.

Wage cuts seem to be the only option the club has to meet the financial restrictions without losing their squad quality. However, players are not inclined to that idea, and that is natural. There would be several suitors across Europe’s top five leagues for the cream of Barcelona’s players, and Laporta has the tough job of abiding by the financial laws without deteriorating the quality of the squad too much.

It might also mean that there would not be any new additions to the squad in this transfer window. The club’s hands would be tied until at least the winter transfer window, and even that seems doubtful. They have already bought a couple of world-class players in Depay and Aguero but if they have to sell other quality players anyway, then the football might not improve that much after all.




WRITTEN BY
Sportslumo Desk

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