FC Barcelona’s financial situation is so disastrous that it cannot register Lionel Messi or any of its new signings in its squad unless it offloads several its highest earners.
That’s according to Goal, which reports the Catalan club have exceeded La Liga’s strict salary limit and needs to reduce its wage bill by €200 million ($237 million) per year in order to register Messi and summer signings Memphis Depay, Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia, and Emerson Royal with the league.
Messi, who is a free agent after his contract expired, remains in talks over a new deal.
Barcelona has already started offloading players to fix the situation.
Full-back Junior Firpo is close to joining English Premier League side Leeds United in a deal that would save Barca around $11 million per season, according to Goal’s report. Portuguese midfielder Francisco Trincao has also been loaned to Wolverhampton Wanderers with an option to buy.
American forward Konrad De La Fuente has been sold to Marseille and Jean Claire-Todibo has been shipped to Nice, saving the club circa $12 million annually.
Matheus Fernandes has also seen his deal terminated, though MARCA reports the Brazilian midfielder is planning to sue the club over the nature of his release.
However, more players must still leave the Camp Nou if it wants to clear space for Messi, Depay, and co.
Samuel Umtiti, Philippe Coutinho, and Miralem Pjanic – who reportedly earn a combined $63 million annually – are all being shopped around, reports Goal, while Antoine Griezmann could also be shown the exit, according to Sport.
The Frenchman, who joined Barca from rivals Atletico Madrid in a $149 million deal in 2019, commands an annual salary of $43 million.
In January, it was reported by Spanish newspaper El Mundo that Barcelona was on the “verge of bankruptcy.”
In the 2020 financial year, Barcelona made a loss of around $117 million and club financials also showed it to have a total of $1.4 billion in debt.