Barcelona could be forced into letting Lionel Messi leave on free transfer with fears over new LaLiga wage cap
22nd June 2021

BARCELONA could lose Lionel Messi on a free this summer because of the new LaLiga wage cap.

Argentine magician Messi, 33, is out of contract in a matter of days and hasn't yet made a decision on his future.

Manchester City are among the European sides in pole position to land Messi if he leaves the Nou Camp.

But the decision might be taken out of Messi's hands if Barcelona can't register him next season.

LaLiga's limit for the 2020-21 season was £328m while Barcelona's pre-pandemic wage bill was £575m.

The Catalans were given some flexibility but LaLiga president Javier Tebas has sent down a stark warning.

He said: "Barcelona have exceeded their wage cap.

"I hope they can keep Messi, but to do so, they will have to make cuts elsewhere.

"The severity of the situation depends on the resources they are capable of generating.

"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 £600m losses (across LaLiga), half of it is for Barcelona. There are other big clubs that have made a bigger effort to avoid it.

"Real Madrid have made a commendable effort to ensure their losses aren't the same as Barca, who take the trophy for losses."

The club have already signed Sergio Aguero, Memphis Depay, Eric Garcia and Emerson Royal.

And they're planning a clearout to reduce their wage bill – with the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Samuel Umtiti tipped to leave.

Barcelona's debt has risen to £1.03bn amid the Covid pandemic.

The club have just taken out a £450m loan to help them through a tough financial period.

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