Barcelona plot transfer clearout with Lionel Messi one of just THREE stars not for sale
Barcelona are expecting a busy summer as boss Quique Setien looks to undertake a clearout of his squad. However, Lionel Messi is one of just three stars the Catalan club are prepared not to sell when the transfer window opens.
Messi, goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen and midfielder Frenkie de Jong are the only players safe at Barcelona this summer, according to ESPN FC.
The club have several transfer targets but due to the financial impact of the coronavirus, the Catalan giants are expected to favour player exchanges rather than signing players for large transfer fees.
However, Barca are already committed to signing two players in the summer.
Francisco Trincao is set to arrive from Braga in the summer in a deal worth £26million (€31m).
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The 20-year-old forward is an exciting prospect and has scored seven goals and provided nine assists in 30 appearances in all competitions this season.
He will be joined by 17-year-old midfielder Pedri.
The youngster will join Barca from Las Palmas for an initial fee of £4m (€5m) and has already started to show his abilities in La Liga 2, having scored three goals and provided four assists in 26 league appearances this campaign.
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But despite the financial concerns surrounding Barcelona, its president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, has insisted that they are still capable of signing the best players.
“There is not going to be as much money in the transfer market because of the pandemic,” Bartomeu said. “But I predict that we are going to see a lot more swap deals.”
Two of Barcelona’s main transfer targets are Neymar and Lautaro Martinez.
Neymar has made it clear he wants to leave Paris Saint-Germain, but agreeing on a deal has not been an easy process for the Barca.
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They failed in their attempts to sign the Brazilian last summer and are still exploring options of a player swap, with several players linked to a possible deal, including Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele.
As for Martinez, the Inter striker appears determined to team up with his compatriot Messi.
And while his £96m (€110m) release clause in his contract is a problem for Barca, they once again hope a swap deal could help bring the Argentine to the Nou Camp.
According to the Italian publication La Gazzetta dello Sport, Arturo Vidal is still an option, as well as Nelson Semedo, Carles Alena, Arthur and Marc Cucurella.
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