Five Barcelona stars linked with transfers amid their financial struggles

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While most of Europe’s biggest clubs have struggled in the last year, Barcelona are currently in the middle of a financial crisis. 

The Spanish giants have spent an eye-watering amount of money on wages and transfer fees in recent years and are now £1.1billion in debt.

Lionel Messi is currently a free agent and Barcelona are reportedly unable to register their new summer signings until they address their financial issues.

“The club’s in a worse state than I expected and I knew I was coming into a difficult situation,” new club president Joan Laporta recently said.

We’ve taken a look at five players recently linked with a move away from Barcelona who they may look to cash in on.

Antoine Griezmann

Having starred for Atletico Madrid, expectations were high when Griezmann completed a €120million move to Barcelona in the summer of 2019.

But he looked a shadow of his former self during a difficult debut season at Camp Nou, scoring just nine goals in 35 La Liga appearances in 2019-20.

Despite rediscovering his best form in 2020-21, the France international could still be pushed towards the exit door in the next few weeks.

He is currently Barcelona’s top earner on £294,000 per week and they need a massive overall wage reduction if they hope to re-sign Lionel Messi. 

Griezmann has been linked with several Premier League clubs but Barcelona are reportedly ready to offer him back to Atletico Madrid as part of a swap deal that will see Saul Niguez join the Catalan giants.

Miralem Pjanic

More than a few eyebrows were raised when Barcelona decided to trade 24-year-old Arthur Melo for the 30-year-old Pjanic in 2020.

While Arthur hasn’t exactly been pulling up trees at Juventus, Barcelona must know that they still drew the short end of the straw.

The Bosnia and Herzegovina international quickly fell behind Pedri in the pecking order and has made just six league starts in the Blaugrana shirt.

He took to Instagram in May 2021 and wrote: “This season leaves me with a bitter taste and questions that still need answers.”

According to reports, the midfielder has been deemed surplus to requirements by Barcelona and the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, Juventus and PSG are all vying for his signature.

Ousmane Dembele

Once regarded as one of the brightest prospects in world football, Dembele joined Barcelona for an initial €105million in 2017 and was handed Neymar’s old number 11 shirt.

His time at Camp Nou has been derailed by a series of injury problems, restricting him to just 81 La Liga appearances across four seasons.

With talks over a new contract currently at a standstill, Barcelona would prefer to sell the winger for a cut-price fee this summer rather than lose him for free in 2022.

He nearly joined Manchester United on loan in 2020 and has since been linked with a move to Liverpool, who tried to sign him in 2016. 

But the France international suffered another injury setback during Euro 2020 which could scupper Barcelona’s hopes of selling him.

READ: The €954m Barcelona have spunked on 27 players since 2015

Philippe Coutinho

After developing into one of the best midfielders in the world at Liverpool, Coutinho joined Barcelona in a £142million deal in January 2018.

He was earmarked to gradually replace Andres Iniesta at Camp Nou but has never really recaptured the form he had shown on Merseyside.

The Brazil international spent 2019-20 on loan at Bayern Munich and came up against Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-finals, scoring twice in that 8-2 win. 

He was given a second chance at Barcelona by Ronald Koeman, only to then suffer a season-ending injury in December 2020.

Barcelona have now run out of patience with Coutinho and are reportedly willing to accept offers around the £20million mark, a fraction of the price they paid to sign him from Liverpool.

Samuel Umtiti

Umtiti enjoyed a promising start to his Barcelona career but has struggled with injury problems and a lack of consistency in recent seasons.

Since starring for France in their 2018 World Cup triumph, the centre-back has made just 40 La Liga appearances for the Blaugrana.

Despite reportedly rejecting the club’s offer to cancel his contract, he is still willing to leave Barcelona in order to get his career back on track. 

Arsenal and Manchester United are both in the market for new centre-backs ahead of next season and are reportedly considering moves for Umtiti.

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