Barcelona are set to prioritise the signing of Erling Haaland over Lionel Messi’s new contract this summer, reports suggest. However, Barca might have to offload as many as five players in order to fund the Norwegian wonderkid’s salary. Express Sport has taken a look at the players they could move on at the end of the season.
Messi is the highest-paid player in the world, and justifiably so due to his six Ballon d’Or wins.
But he’ll be out of contract this summer, and has been offered a contract on half his current wages.
However, he’s yet to put pen to paper, and could well opt for a move to Paris Saint-Germain instead.
And if Barca are to pay Haaland’s wages, they could decide it’s time for them to move on from their greatest-ever player.
Samuel Umtiti has been linked with a move to the Premier League in the past, and could well still have interest from England.
The French centre-back is still under contract until 2023, but has barely played this season.
With Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool all believed to be on the hunt for a new centre-back, and it seems possible that Umtiti could fit the bill.
The 27-year-old has started just six La Liga games this season, and might be tempted to look for a new club.
Philippe Coutinho has been tipped to leave Barcelona seemingly every transfer window since he first joined in 2018.
The Brazilian’s time at the Nou Camp has been little short of a disaster, and he’s barely played this season as a result.
Coutinho was wanted by a number of Premier League teams last summer, and he could still become Arsenal’s top option as a new number ten.
Like Umtiti, Coutinho is only under contract until 2023, and he could well be offloaded this summer to raise funds for Haaland.
Danish striker Martin Braithwaite was originally signed as a panic buy after the club was hit by injuries in February last year, but he’s ended up being used more than many could have predicted.
The centre-forward is one of Barca’s leading number nines now that Luis Suarez is at Atletico Madrid, and it’s hard to argue that he’s good enough.
Braithwaite is under contract until 2024, but if Haaland arrives it’s unlikely that he’ll get a whiff of first-team football.
He’s not on high wages, but is unlikely to be kept around if the Norwegian is signed.
Barcelona have to sell Ousmane Dembele this summer if they want to avoid losing him on a free next year.
The Frenchman will be out of contract in the summer of 2022, and can sign a pre-contractual agreement with a non-Spanish club in January 2022.
He’s been wanted by a number of clubs around the world, and he’ll likely be offloaded this summer if he doesn’t sign a new contract.
Manchester United could look to sign him this summer if he emerges as a cheap target.