Barca will sell as many players as it takes to keep Messi, admits Koeman

Stefan Bienkowski
Copa del Rey triumph shows Messi there’s life at Barcelona yet

Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has admitted that the club will sell however many first team players it takes to retain the services of Lionel Messi next season.

In recent weeks the club have seemingly tried in vain to put together a financial deal that would entice the Argentina international into signing a new contract with the Catalan side.

However, Barcelona’s dire financial situation has meant that the club has had to consider selling numerous first team stars to reduce the wage bill and raise capital from sales.

So far the club have already sold Junio Firpo, Jean-Clair Todibo and Juan Miranda for a combined €25 million.

Yet it now seems as though more sales will be necessary, with first team regulars like Samuel Umtiti, Miralem Pjanic, Philippe Coutinho and Antoine Griezmann all apparently on the transfer list.

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'We'll see who stays and who goes...'

"I will count on all the players we have. If there are any changes we will have to accept them, but these are things and decisions that the club has to make,” said Koeman to the Spanish press on Friday.

“We'll see who stays and who goes because there's a long way to go, but it's clear that the priority is for Messi to stay above all else."

Barcelona’s best hope of raising significant funds may come from the potential sale of Griezmann in the coming weeks.

Off the back of impressive performances for France at Euro 2020, the forward has been linked with a move to Manchester City.

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And while Koeman believes Griezmann is an important player in his squad, he also understands that nobody is above being sold in the quest to keep Messi at the club.

"For me Griezmann is very important. He has been a great signing for Barcelona and has shown his quality,” said the Dutch coach.

“He has performed very well and he is a very good player. But I insist I don't know what decisions will be made in the end because the most important thing is that Leo stays with us. He is the future of this club and we have to try to do our best.”