The Blaugrana are desperately trying to reduce their salary bill after exceeding La Liga’s spending limit earlier this year
Barcelona are still struggling to offload Philippe Coutinho, Miralem Pjanic and Samuel Umtiti amid their ongoing wage crisis, Goal can confirm.
Pressure is mounting on Barca to cut costs ahead of the 2021-22 campaign, with the club currently in danger of being unable to register any of their four new signings or Lionel Messi – who became a free agent at the end of his last contract in June.
The likes of Jean-Clair Todibo, Carles Alena, Junior Firpo, Francisco Trincao and Matheus Fernandes have already been moved on, but the Blaugrana will also need to sell a number of more high-profile first-team stars to get below La Liga’s strict wage limit.
Barca’s financial plight
Memphis Depay, Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia and Emerson Royal have all been officially unveiled at Camp Nou this summer, but none of them will be eligible to play until Barca can balance their books.
Six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi, meanwhile, has agreed to terms on a new five-year deal that includes a hefty pay cut, with several more players likely have to reduce their earnings in the coming weeks.
Head coach Ronald Koeman has also identified who will not be part of his plans for next season, and that list includes three players currently earning over €10 million per annum – Coutinho, Pjanic and Umtiti.
The state of play with Coutinho & Umtiti
Barca forked out €141m (£121m/$166m) to bring Coutinho to Camp Nou from Liverpool in January 2018, but the midfielder’s market value has dropped significantly since then due to his persistent struggles for form and fitness.
The Brazilian made just 12 Liga appearances in the 2020-21 campaign after returning from a loan spell at Bayern Munich, and still has two years left to run on his current contract.
Barca are willing to take a heavy loss on their initial investment, but Goal understands that they won’t accept less than €40m (£34m/$47m) for Coutinho, who has been linked with a handful of clubs in both the Premier League and Serie A.
Umtiti, meanwhile, has already received several offers from potential suitors, with the Blaugrana prepared to let him depart on a free transfer, but none of the interested clubs are willing to pay him even half of what he currently earns in Catalonia.
Pjanic joined Barca from Juventus in a swap deal that saw Arthur head in the opposite direction to the Allianz Stadium last summer, but the Bosnian playmaker has since been unable to nail down a regular spot in Koeman’s lineup.
Goal can confirm that Juve are now interested in re-signing Pjanic, with Barca now waiting for them to submit a formal bid for a player that would welcome the chance to return to familiar surroundings in Turin.
The Bianconeri are taking their time as they seek to capitalise on the Blaugrana’s financial woes, but the La Liga club are set to accept any offer they receive for Pjanic regardless of how low the final fee might be.