Barcelona captain Lionel Messi has asked the club to get rid of as many as three first team superstars during this summer’s transfer window.
Barcelona were given a recap of the 2018 Champions League after they threw away a three goal lead from the first leg in the second leg of the knockout phase. This time round, it was Liverpool who were on the losing end of a 3-0 score line from the Camp Nou, but belted the Catalans 4-0 in the Anfield a week later.
Ernesto Valverde’s men continue to extend their domestic domination and could lift the Copa del Rey a fortnight from now, but the former Athletic Bilbao boss’ obsession is with winning the Champions League- something that has been a failure in Catalonia for the last four seasons. Another man fuming in the dressing room is Lionel Messi.
The Argentina international was desperate to win the Champions League this season after being agonized by Real Madrid’s dominance and even made his desires public. Messi has now asked Barcelona to sell off three first team players, as per Fox Sports. The figures in the blacklist are Philippe Coutinho, Ivan Rakitic and Samuel Umtiti.
Coutinho’s exit from the Camp Nou is imminent and he may head to an adventure with Paris Saint-Germain, while a return to Liverpool or astoundingly even Manchester United has not been ruled out. He has been utterly horrible at Barcelona and there seems to be no way upward for him at the club hereon.
Ivan Rakitic is the most indispensable player for Ernesto Valverde, but the Croatian’s performances have taken a dip in the last few months. Additionally, with Frenkie de Jong set to arrive this July and Riqui Puig also knocking for a promotion to the first team, it may been in the best of the Catalans’ interest to sell the 31-year-old Rakitic.
Lastly, Samuel Umtiti is now a virtually dead man in the Camp Nou and has lost out on his starting berth to Clement Lenglet. The Frenchman risks falling further down in the pecking order due to the proposed arrival of Matthijs de Ligt this summer and hence, Barcelona could look to offload him in order to earn cash and make room in the squad.