Barcelona are reportedly planning a further £150m wage cut, with captains Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets all at risk of transfer.
Barcelona endured a difficult summer and pulled multiple financial levers to balance the books while further strengthening Xavi’s first-team squad.
They spent £145m on several signings during the transfer window, but financial constraints prevented them from registering these rookies early in the transfer window, leaving Robert Lewandowski , Raphinha and Jules Kounde were at a dead end.
However, the Catalan club was able to generate the necessary funds through the partial sale of future television rights income and Barca Studios (where in-house media production is stable).
But their salaries are still £546m and want to cut another £150m according to Spanish publication Sport, with ideal salaries between £376m and £402m. between pounds.
The report further states that the departures of club captains and legends Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets and Gerard Pique are already factored into the planned cuts.
Busquets has played in his 685 games for Barcelona, Pique in his 608 and Alba in his 433, and their departure will come as a great grief to the Catalan giants’ supporters.
However, Eduard Romeu, the club’s vice president of economic affairs, argued it could lead to Lionel Messi’s sensational return to the club, with Romeu saying it was financially ‘possible’.
Messi’s potential return to Barcelona
Messi left Barcelona last summer to join PSG amid financial difficulties for the Catalan giants, but his contract with Ligue 1 expires in 2023.
The Argentinian striker is expected to make a decision on his future after the World Cup in Qatar, and Romeu said Barcelona could afford to return Messi to Nou camp.
“It would be possible financially because if he returned it would be as a free agent,” stated Romeu at El Mati de Catalunya Radio.
“But it’s a decision which has to be made by the coaching staff and the player. It doesn’t correspond to me [to make those decisions], but it would be viable. Although I don’t have it in the budget.”
“He is an icon of the club. This will always be his home, but it will be a technical decision [if he returns].”
Despite comments about Messi’s possible re-signing, Romeu admitted it would take another two years for Barcelona to be in sound financial shape.
“We have saved Barça, but we still haven’t resolved it. We don’t have it healthy; it involves a lot of austerity, a lot of rigour and there is a lot of work to do. In the 2024/25 season we will be at the level that corresponds to us.”
Romeu has refused to downplay the possibility of Barcelona signing Messi, but the 35-year-old playmaker recently declared he was ‘enjoying’ himself in Paris, extending his stay in the French capital.
“I feel good, different from last year and I knew it was going to be like that,” said Messi to the reporters.
“Last year, as I’ve already said, I had a bad time, I never finished finding myself but this year is different. I’ve arrived with a different head, more accommodated to the club, to the dressing room, to the game, to my teammates.”
“The truth is I feel very good and I’m enjoying myself again.”