La Liga 2021-22: Can Barcelona realistically afford Lionel Messi?
Lionel Messi is looking to steer Argentina to a title win in the ongoing Copa America. Meanwhile, his Barcelona future looks uncertain, despite the club looking to offer him a new deal. However, can the Catalan realistically afford him anymore?
As far as Lionel Messi is concerned, he is unquestionably one of the greatest modern-day footballers. Currently, he is busy leading Argentine in the Copa America 2021 and would be hoping to steer his side to a title win.
However, as far as his club future is concerned, it remains doubtful with Barcelona. Following the failure of the club's ability to win titles and make an impact on the European stage, Messi is seemingly considering leaving the club.
Nonetheless, Barca is reluctant to let him go and has reportedly prepared a mega-contract for him to make him stay at Camp Nou. However, is the club in a realistic position to afford him?
In the same light, La Liga president Javier Tebas has warned Barca that to afford the Argentine, the club has to reduce the wage bill, i.e. sacrifice some players. Furthermore, a reported debt of over €1 billion and loss of revenues in the pandemic have put Barca in a precarious position regarding the financial ability to afford Messi.
"Barcelona have exceeded their wage cap. I hope they can keep Messi, but to do so, they will have to make cuts elsewhere. We are not going to make Barcelona's wage bill more flexible. The rules are not going to be changed. We are not going to change any rule for Messi," he was quoted as saying by Goal.
"Barca have to restructure their debt. If they manage that, the situation won't be serious. But they have taken their wage bill to the limit. And when football has coughed - or, better put, punctured a lung - they haven't wanted to absorb that loss of income. They must take measures. Of the €700m losses [in La Liga], half of it is for Barcelona," he added.
Meanwhile, according to a report by Le10 Sport, Barca would reportedly be announcing Messi's new deal by Thursday. Also, since it happens to be Messi's 34th birthday, it would be a special occasion. However, it is to be seen if the recent warning by Tebas has any effect on the Catalan.
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