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Tebas warns Barcelona must sell players to keep hold of Messi

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‘I don’t know if Messi can start next season with Barcelona’

FC Barcelona v RC Celta - La Liga Santander Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

La Liga president Javier Tebas has once again made it clear that Barcelona must reduce the wage bill and sell players if they want Lionel Messi to continue at the club.

The Argentine is out of contract but is thought to be keen to stay and willing to sign a contract extension.

The problem is that Barca reportedly need to cut about €200 million off the wage bill to make room for Messi, and Tebas says he’s not sure where the Argentine will play next season.

“I don’t know if Lionel Messi can start next La Liga season with Barcelona. If Barcelona don’t sell players, they will not be able to register Messi.

“He won’t be able to sign on the previous conditions, that’s impossible. But I don’t think any European club would be able to pay that amount.”

There have been vague whispers that Paris Saint-Germain or Manchester City could try to land Messi, but Tebas also had a warning for the two clubs.

“City have lost €270m [during the pandemic] so obviously they wouldn’t even consider signing Messi [on his previous salary],” he said. “PSG have had losses, too, so they can’t even consider signing Messi [for that much].

“If they do, it will be financial doping. It would be incredible if it happened. We need to establish limits. Financial doping is damaging football.

“It’s not real money because it’s not generated by the clubs. Money not from football causes bad inflation and ruins football because clubs must put in all this effort [to compete], which takes them above their financial capacity.

“We have to fight against this. This is one of the pending issues in European football. If it’s not solved, the game will find itself in a very complicated situation.”

Tebas also backed Barcelona to overcome their current financial problems and offered a bit more detail into the club’s problems with their wage bill.

“Barcelona are facing uncertain times but they will be able to solve their problems because they have the highest turnover in the world,” he added. “When they get back to normal turnover, they will have restructured their debt and reduced their wage bill.

“Like others, due to pandemic, they have gone over their spending limit. When clubs go over, we have a rule called one by four. We allow new players [to be registered] whenever they reduce the current wage bill.

“For each euro they want to use for signups, they have to save €4. For example, if the players that Barca have signed, [Sergio] Aguero and others, are going to cost €50m for the next season, it means €200m must be saved, either by transfers or by reducing the wage bill.”

Source | ESPN

Barca have already offloaded players such as Konrad de la Fuente, Junior Firpo, Francisco Trincao and Jean-Clair Todibo this summer, while Carles Alena is expected to be the next player to seal a move away.

Yet it still appears the club will have to ditch a few high earners if they are to comply with La Liga’s salary cap. Samuel Umtiti, Miralem Pjanic, Philippe Coutinho and even Antoine Griezmann are all players who continue to be linked with a summer exit.