Barcelona go public to put THREE first-team stars on the transfer market

Robin Bairner
Antoine Griezmann playing for Barcelona in the Champions League against PSG, 2020-21

Barcelona have admitted for the first time the identity of three first-team players who are up for sale this summer.

With the Catalans desperately trying to reduce their wage bill in a bid to allow Lionel Messi to re-sign for the club after his deal expired on 30 June, numerous players have been linked with a move away from the club.

Indeed, reports suggest that they could allow up to nine players to depart in the summer, with the likes of Martin Braithwaite, Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho widely expected to be available to go.

However, president Joan Laporta and director of football Mateu Alemany have now openly admitted the identity of three players who could be sold this summer.

Antoine Griezmann

There has been much speculation over the Barcelona future of Antoine Griezmann, who has been linked with a return to Atletico Madrid via a swap deal.

The World Cup is presently the third highest paid player in the world game behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar, and he has not justified such a status since moving to Barca in 2019.

While Barcelona are now publicly open to allowing Griezmann to depart, they are not, however, going to offload the France star at all costs.

What we’re doing is building our staff, looking for financial balance... We’re open to all proposals because we’re in a delicate moment.
- Joan Laporta

“Griezmann is a Barcelona player but it cannot be denied that there have been movements in recent weeks,” Laporta admitted. “We have the player, but there has been interest in him because he is a world-class footballer.

“What we’re doing is building our staff, looking for financial balance. We don’t have any problems with Antoine. We’re open to all proposals because we’re in a delicate moment. We have to have a balance. We’re open to studying options.”

Meanwhile, Alemany added: “We value Antoine a lot. He’s a top player. It won’t be easy for there to be an interesting enough offer for him to leave. We’ll see what happens.”

Fringe players

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If Griezmann’s future at Barcelona still seems relatively secure, that is not necessarily the case for Miralem Pjanic and Samuel Umtiti.

“Both have very important careers, but didn’t get much playing time last season,” Alemany admitted.

“We know the situation and are evaluating the possibility of finding them another club. They are the first to be interested in finding a team where they can play more regularly.”

Pjanic has been linked with a return to Juventus in recent days, but Umtiti has not attracted any notable interest following an injury-hit season.