Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has reportedly told the Catalan giants’ hierarchy that these three players must be sold in the summer.
According to the Daily Star via Spanish publication Sport, five-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi has told Barcelona’s chiefs that Philipe Coutinho, Ivan Rakitic and Samuel Umtiti must be sold this summer.
Messi is clearly sick of mediocrity in Europe, the star hasn’t won the Champions League since the 2014/15 season and rival Cristiano Ronaldo has won the competition in four of the previous five years.
Messi has 4 Champions League trophies to his name and will be eager to match Ronaldo – who has five, before the pair both call time on their careers.
Attacking midfielder Coutinho has been disastrous for the Camp Nou outfit since his marquee move from Liverpool, according to BBC Sport, the Brazilian star joined the Blaugrana in a £142m deal.
Rakitic has enjoyed domestic success with Barcelona in recent years but the Croatian star’s form has dipped in the last few months, with Rakitic now 31 years old and the arrival of Frenkie de Jong being imminent, now could be the best time for Rakitic to leave – this summer could also be the last time where Barcelona can sell the star for a good amount of money.
Samuel Umtiti has established himself as one of the world’s best centre-backs in recent years, but after a summer of success at the World Cup with France, the defender has endured a very tough season. The star has been troubled with injuries and the 25-year-old’s place in the team has now been taken by compatriot Clement Lenglet.
If Barcelona believe that Umtiti can’t get back to where he was – selling the star could be a good decision. Ernesto Valverde’s side could still net a huge figure for the sale of Umtiti.
Barcelona clearly need something different this summer if they are to bridge the gap between domestic dominance and success in Europe. The Catalan giants need big-game players if they have any hope of winning the Champions League next season.