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Barcelona forced to sell €50m pair to balance books for Lionel Messi extension

Barcelona will reportedly consider selling fringe first-team players in order to have the financial flexibility to sign Lionel Messi to a big-money extension.

The Argentine international will see his current deal expire in 2018, and much has been made about Barca’s potential inability to meet his financial demands.

Having offered lucrative deals to both Neymar and Luis Suarez in recent months, Messi is undoubtedly next in line but as explained by El Confidencial, the club is having to think about the package they will offer.

In order to do put that package together, it’s claimed in the report that the Catalan giants may have to consider selling players in order to raise the funds required to keep their talismanic forward at the club.

Arda Turan will be sacrificed as Barca believe that they can get €30m for the Turkish international with interest from China.

Further, Ivan Rakitic could also find himself heading for the exit door with Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola keen on taking him to England, with Sky Sports noting that the Croatian playmaker cost Barca €20m when he signed from Sevilla in 2014.

Both players have struggled to have an influence on the team, Rakitic more so in recent weeks rather than Turan who has had fierce competition to deal with since he arrived at the Nou Camp.

Nevertheless, whether it’s a smart move to sacrifice depth and quality to make the Messi extension happen is up for debate as Barca would ultimately be putting most of their eggs in one basket.

Many will argue that Barca should do whatever it takes to ensure that Messi puts pen to paper, and given his trophy haul, both individual and collective, it’s difficult to argue against that strategy.

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