It looks like Barcelona’s attempts to re-sign Lionel Messi are going to go to the wire as Joan Laporta is finding it difficult to shift their high earners, one of whom has put a condition on him leaving.
Samuel Umtiti has long since been a first-choice centre-back for the Catalans, but since his knee injury which he has never really recovered from, the Frenchman has dug his heels in at the club, refusing to move on because of the extortionate salary he’s been paid.
Laporta is doing his best to reverse the ills of the Josep Maria Bartomeu presidency, but it’s proving difficult.
Umtiti is at least willing to leave now, but only, according to Don Balon, if it’s to one of Europe’s elite clubs who can offer him Champions League football.
Given that there’s been little interest in the player, it looks like being a battle that Barcelona can’t win.
With less than two weeks until the start of the La Liga season, it’ll be touch and go as far as Messi is concerned.