The president of La Liga has claimed that Barcelona can only renew the contract of Lionel Messi if they make significant changes to their wage bill.
The Argentine superstar is out of contract at the Camp Nou next week and he has yet to put pen to paper on a new deal.
The Blaugrana are desperate to secure the contract extension of the player who has spent the entirety of his professional career at the club.
Whilst it is still expected that a new agreement will be confirmed, the economic structure of the deal remains unclear and it is likely that the precarious financial situation at the club will lead to many exits.
Barca’s wage cap was reduced from €671million in the 2019-20 campaign to €382.7million for last season, and more cuts are thought to be needed.
The Catalan giants have a gross debt in the region of €1.2billion and how they will reduce and manage that debt has been unclear.
Indeed, the club have made a quartet of signings this summer: the trio of free agents Memphis Depay, Eric Garcia and Sergio Aguero, alongside buying out the full ownership rights for full-back Emerson Royal from Real Betis.
As yet, there have been no outgoings from last season’s first-team squad, and now the focus is likely to be on mass exits.
Big earners such as Samuel Umtiti and Phillipe Coutinho are among the priority players for the club to move on, while Ousmane Dembele and Antoine Griezmann may be sold if a suitable offer comes in.
Elsewhere, fringe players such as Junior Firpo, Miralem Pjanic, Neto, Matheus Fernandes and Martin Braithwaite will be looked to be moved on.
Theoretically, the Spanish league can block the registration of Messi’s contract should they believe that the club are running an unsustainable wage bill.
La Liga chief Javier Tebas explained, as per Mundo Deportivo, and cited by ESPN : ” Barcelona have exceeded their wage cap.
“I hope they can keep Messi, but to do so, they will have to make cuts elsewhere.”
Tebas also spoke of the debt situation at the Camp Nou and whether they could turn the situation into a sustainable one going forward.
The league boss added: “The severity of the situation depends on the resources they are capable of generating.
“Barca have to restructure their debt. If they manage that, the situation won’t be serious.
“But they have taken their wage bill to the limit. And when football has coughed — or, better put, punctured a lung — they haven’t wanted to absorb that loss of income. They must take measures.
“Of the €700m losses [across La Liga], half of it is for Barcelona. There are other big clubs that have made a bigger effort to avoid it. Real Madrid have made a commendable effort to ensure their losses aren’t the same as Barca, who take the trophy for losses.”