The Catalan club is desperate to sign the Argentine legend to a new two-year contract, but they can’t afford his pay.
As they attempt to commit Lionel Messi to a new deal, La Liga president Javier Tebas thinks it would be “difficult” for Barcelona to offer him the same wage as last season.
The Argentina international’s contract with the Catalan club expired at the end of June, but the club has not given up hope of extending it for another two years.
The Camp Nou team, however, is unable to register any of the players they have recruited this summer due to the club’s salary cap, which is preventing them from confirming a deal for Messi.
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While Tebas acknowledges that Ronald Koeman’s side will have a difficult time convincing the six-time Ballon d’Or winner to return, he argues that no team on the continent can match his current pay.
“He won’t be able to sign under the same terms as the last contract.” That would be difficult, but I also don’t believe any European club, even Barcelona, could pay that much under his previous deal,” Tebas remarked.
“It is not up to me to decide whether Messi stays or departs; it is up to Barcelona.” We wish and hope that Barcelona resolves the issue so that Messi can remain in Spain.
“We always want the greatest players in La Liga, but Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo have departed, and we are still expanding.” We’re still working, and [with these talents], Serie A and Ligue 1 haven’t grown as much as they’d want.
“While Premier League players do not win the Ballon d’Or, it is the top sporting and financial competition in the world.” Players should not be the focus of our attention. I’d like Messi to stay, but he isn’t required.”
Tebas defends the salary cap.
Barcelona’s pay cap was established at €348 million (£299 million/$413 million) as a result of the epidemic, but the team ended up exceeding it.
Tebas has stated that La Liga will not lower the spending cap on the club and has upheld the organization’s principles.
“Our regulations are adequate.” “With the pandemic, there is just a true situation where there is less income and higher losses,” he continued.
“Opening up the problem would only result in greater debt.” We spent a lot of time studying it and believe that the regulation is reasonable and that all clubs should follow it. This rule was adopted by all of the clubs.
“This isn’t the first occasion in recent years that a club has signed players but been unable to register them. I am confident that Barcelona will resolve the issue, but if they do not, the players will be unable to register.
“The key difference between Barcelona and the pandemic is that they’ve always been on the edge of pay.” They didn’t have that buffer when the pandemic hit, so they weren’t harmed by the squad limit issue.
“No other club has ever gone to that far. They have lost €350 million (£300m/$415m) in revenue since the pandemic, so it is not normal really, especially in our league, to push right to that last Euro in the salary limit.
“If they have to cancel contracts, it may be less expensive than the money they spend on their salary bill. They appear to be on the right track. I’ve spoken with a few of their players who have learned that they will not be considered for next year’s team and wish to quit. Getting out of a contract might often come with a financial penalty.”
Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia, Memphis Depay, and Emerson Royal have all agreed to join Barcelona this summer.
However, unless the team dramatically reduces its present wage expenses, none of them will be able to play in the new season.
To make things easier, they’ve already persuaded Depay to accept a 30% reduction in the €7 million (£6 million/$8 million) each season they committed to pay him when he signed on a free transfer.
Under new president Joan Laporta, Garcia, who joined the club from Manchester City in January, has agreed to lower his wages.