In the summer of 2021, Barcelona have confirmed their intention to turn the tide in order to break away from last season’s lack of success in La Liga and the Champions League. They will rebuild a more competitive and luxurious squad around Lionel Messi.
Barcelona bring in new players
This summer, Barca have been successful in strengthening several positions with the signing of three major new signings – Eric Garcia, Aguero and Depay – for free. The next step is to cleanse Barcelona of some players, including Pjanic, Coutinho, Umtiti, etc. In the recent week, fringe player Firpo has confirmed his move to join Leeds United, allowing Barca to recover a €15 million transfer fee.
Messi to take pay cut
For those players who remain in the squad, Barcelona have asked for a pay cut for the high-paid players to reduce the financial burden on the team. News from the French media is that Messi has accepted a 50% pay cut in order to renew his contract to stay at Barca. Previously, La Liga president Tebas has stated that it is impossible that Messi signs a contract with Barca for the same amount as before.
So it is clear that Messi will take a pay cut to complete his contract extension with Barca. Radio Corbett puts Messi’s salary at €60 million after the pay cut. However, the renewal could take several weeks to be completed.
Barca renew Moriba’s contract
Meanwhile, Barcelona are also set to renew the contract of talented 18-year-old starlet Moriba. Barca have offered Moriba a five-year contract extension and have already started pressing the midfielders from Spain to complete it as soon as possible. Moriba played 14 games for the team last season, making 10 substitutions and four starts, scoring one goal and assisting two others. His overall performance was recognised by manager Ronald Koeman and there will not be much difficulty in renewing his contract to stay with the team.
The two French stars will be traded
Barcelona will then focus on cashing in on 2 of their biggest stars, Griezmann and Dembele, a pair of “French duo” worth around 260 million euros. Barca spent 120 million euros on the transfer of Griezmann and 135 million euros on Dembele, both of whom were highly paid players at Barca and did not play as well as expected.
Spanish media, Barcelona may be planning to extend Dembele’s contract first and then sell him so that he can be sold for a good price. Dembele is currently 24 years old and has only 11 goals and 5 assists in 44 games for Barca last season, with very mediocre form and ability.
Rezman could return to Atletico Madrid. Barca and Atletico have started discussing the possibility of a Griezmann-Saúl swap. Saúl fits Koeman’s criteria for reinforcements, while Atletico boss Simeone wants to bring back Griezmann.
Griezmann hasn’t played at his normal level at Barca, scoring 35 goals in 99 games. This is a far cry from his previous performance at Atletico where he scored 133 goals in 257 games. He is playing out of position at Barca and a transfer would be a boon for both him and Barca. Apart from Atletico Madrid’s interest in Griezmann, Manchester City and other top European teams are also interested in bringing Griezmann in and it doesn’t seem too difficult for Barca to cash in on him.