Barcelona have completed some good business so far this summer, so if Lionel Messi signs a new contract they should be a stronger team going into next season.
The downside of doing the business so early is that everyone can now see that there are several players who are surplus to requirements and it’s going to be impossible to get big fees for any of those players who need to be offloaded.
A report from ESPN has indicated that Barca need to drastically reduce their wage bill so they are trying to figure out which high-earners could be expendable, and Jordi Alba is one of the candidates to leave.
He’s still a big part of the side but he is 32 and entering the final stage of his career, so trying to get anything in exchange for him should be explored as they look to rebuild.
The report claims that Inter Milan were showing an interest in a potential swap deal involving Alba and their centre-back Alessandro Bastoni, but Alba is simply refusing to leave or reduce his salary so there’s not much Barca can do about the situation.
Sergio Roberto and Sergio Busquets are also thought to be in a similar position where Barca need them to reduce their salary, but they don’t have any real power to do that and if a player is under contract they can’t be forced to go.
It’s likely that Barca will need to pay a chunk of any player’s wages if they do leave this summer, so it will be interesting to see who they actually manage to offload.