"Remove players and lower wages": Barça's recipe for Messi's renewal
Barça to sell Trincao to Wolverhampton and announce the sale of Junior to Leeds in the next few hours
BarcelonaThe economic muscle of the Premier League is helping Barça to certify the priority goal of renewing Leo Messi until 2023. To achieve the signing of the Argentine, who intends to remain in Barcelona but will continue to be by far the most highly valued player in the squad, the Catalan entity has to "remove players and lower wages", as pointed out from the offices of the Camp Nou. A commandment that applies both to respecting La Liga's financial fair play and to aspiring to continue strengthening the team with almost two months of the transfer window still remaining. On this road to emptying the dressing room of players who charge too much for what they bring to the pitch, Barça have announced this Sunday the loan of Francisco Trincao to Wolverhampton and hope to announce in the next few hours the sale of Junior Firpo to Leeds United. Despite not being among the best teams in England, Wolves and Whites have the money to improve their performances, which Barça cannot do at the moment.
Trincao will play next season at Wolverhampton under a loan deal with an option to buy for 29 million euros. Despite having offers from teams he was more excited about, the Portuguese winger has been persuaded by his agent, Jorge Mendes, who has a large number of his players at this club near London. In fact, the super agent already did Barça the favour of taking Nélson Semedo to the same destination last summer. Trincao's move to Wolves is not yet linked, for now, with the possible arrival of Adama Traoré at Camp Nou, a route that the player himself verbalised a few days ago in an interview on RAC1. However, in the culé sports management they admit that the winger from Hospitalet, who is not having much participation with Spain in the European Championship, is an option that is on the table as long as the wage bill continues to be reduced over the next few weeks. Traore has been in English football for six years after Josep Maria Bartomeu's board approved his move to Aston Villa in the summer of 2015 in exchange for 10 million fixed, two million variable and a right of first refusal that the club did not want to exercise when Villa sold the player to Middlesbrough or when Boro transferred him to Wolves.
On the other hand, Barça is about to make official the sale of Junior Firpo to Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds. The operation will be closed for 15 million, of which 20% will go to the box of Betis, who reserved this right when two years ago it transferred the fullback to the Catalan club. Firpo has passed through the Camp Nou without much fanfare. He arrived to compete the place for Jordi Alba's place, but his performance has been poorer than that of Lucas Digne, who years ago was also recruited to compete with the player from Hospitalet on the left flank. With the sale of the Dominican player, Barça will save on his fee and raise the transfer fee, which has also seen an income of 8.5 million for Jean-Clair Todibo, acquired by Nice, and 3 million for Konrad de la Fuente, who will play for Olympique de Marseille. The low-cost agreement for the departure of the American winger, however, ensures half of a future transfer for the azulgrana entity.
Umtiti does not accept the letter of release
However, Barça's exit operation will not end here. There are still a lot of files to be resolved. In this regard, the club hopes to make progress in the negotiations to close the sale of Carles Aleñá to Valencia, a club in which José Luis Gayà is interested. There are also expectations regarding Martin Braithwaite's progress at the European Championship. The Danish striker is a starter for a semi-finalist team, but has yet to score a goal in the tournament. Even so, the club are confident that there will be interest in bringing him in this summer. Neto Murara is another of the other avenues in the window. Ter Stegen's understudy goalkeeper wants more playing time and Barça believe he is overpaid for the role he has.
The situation is more complicated for Samuel Umtiti, who has been offered his release by the club, as reported by Mundo Deportivo and confirmed by ARA. The French centre-back, however, does not accept this solution and is holding on to the contract he has signed until 2023 at a rate of 11 million per season. His urgent departure is difficult due to the chronic problems he has with his left knee. Meanwhile, Miralem Pjanic, who is looking to return to Juventus one summer after Barça swapped him for Arthur Melo to balance the books, is another who could be set to be released. If the Bosnian does leave it will be purely a salary issue, as he still has 45 million to be paid off.