Barça’s technical secretariat is faced with the tremendously difficult task of balancing the books in order to ensure Leo Messi’s contract renewal.
There’s no need to repeat what has been said a thousand times over about the club’s delicate financial situation, or how difficult it is to re-sign Messi without infringing financial fair play laws or breaking the salary cap imposed on the club by LaLiga (Laporta gave a good account of this in his recent meeting with Javier Tebas, where he was unable to find a solution).
The sales of Junior Firpo (15 million euros), Jean-Clair Todibo (8.5 million euros) and Konrad de la Fuente (3 million euros), in addition to the outgoing loans that the club is currently working on (particularly those of Samuel Umtiti and Miralem Pjanic), don’t get close to releasing the required funds. If the club wants Messi to remain its biggest asset next season, it needs to make a bigger effort. Much bigger. And Antoine Griezmann could be key to retaining their best player.
After being knocked out of Euro 2020 earlier than expected, Griezmann is currently enjoying his summer holidays. This represents a good time for him to consider his future, which remains shrouded in doubt. Barça is willing to let the player leave. The club’s technical secretary feel that selling him is one of the best ways to raise funds this summer, particularly after the arrivals of attackers Memphis Depay and Sergio ‘Kun’ Agüero.
Ronald Koeman specifically requested the signature of Depay, who he knows very well from his time coaching the Dutch national team. Agüero, meanwhile, is one of Messi’s best friends. A priori, Koeman is planning on playing with a Messi-Depay-Agüero front line, which could limit Griezmann’s minutes in the upcoming season.
For all of the above, the Mâcon-born forward could be tempted by a move away from Barça, provided that he is offered the same terms and game time in his new club. Besides the constant rumours about PSG’s interest in the player, conditioned largely by the doubts surrounding Mbappé’s future, various Premier League clubs are also interested in signing the French international. It’s also worth noting that the Qatar World Cup is just around the corner, and game time will be crucial in the upcoming season.