With the Euros wrapping up, the next few weeks will be filled with the usual summer madness of transfer stories and players signing here and there or not signing here or there and the rumors that cover both.
The epicenter is probably going to be Barcelona again, but not for any good reason. In fact, the Catalan giants might be closer than ever to becoming one of the bigger instances of a club collapsing on itself in recent history.
Barca have been in the news in recent weeks for signing Sergio Aguero and Memphis Depay on free transfers while negotiating a new contract with Lionel Messi. The problem for Barca is that they can’t register any of their new players until they comply with La Liga’s salary rules, which will involve them cutting their wage bill in half before the season starts. Barca are looking at trying to cut some $237 million off their wages.
And the players they’d like to cut most are ones no one wants. They’ve been trying to ship off Phillipe Coutinho for a couple years now, and no one’s interested. He’s barely played for them, barely played for Munich when he was loaded there, and his wages are astronomical. They’re rumored to be willing to settle for just $25-30 million for him, after they bought him from Liverpool for $197 million. It’s that kind of business that’s landed him in this mess.
This thread explains more in detail what’s going on. But the cloud sitting over all of this is why Lionel Messi would want to put up with all this and what kind of team are Barca going to have left for him to play with?
It feels like Barca are on the verge of self-immolation, and might have happened already if Messi hadn’t been around to keep them afloat on the field. Should he decide he doesn’t want any part of this anymore, and he is a free agent no matter how rumored he is to be sticking around, the Blaugrana might start crumbling in a hurry.