Lionel Messi decided to spend the upcoming season in Major League Soccer (MLS) after it became clear that returning to his former club Barcelona was financially unfeasible.
Another option was a move to Al-Hilal, who allegedly offered the Argentinean a contract worth $500 million yearly. However, Messi was not enticed by the prospect of playing his twilight years in Saudi Arabia.
Upon informing Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) of his departure at the end of his contract and opting against an automatic one-year renewal, the initial plan was for Messi to return to Barcelona.
Since Messi announced his exit from PSG in early May, Barca fans have followed the speculation to see if their legend would walk again in the blue and red colors. This was an intense period for the fans, with most of them eyeing Barcelona tickets for the upcoming season with the assumption that their #10 would return.
But it was not meant to be.
The operation presented numerous difficulties for the Catalan club, primarily due to LaLiga’s strict financial fair play regulations. Barcelona is constrained by the 40% rule and the salary limit imposed by the league, which restricts their spending.
Barcelona can only allocate 400,000 euros towards player salaries for every million euros of income. Reports suggest that Messi’s father, Jorge, explored the possibility of a deal that would allow Messi to spend the 2023/24 season at Barcelona before moving on next summer. Still, this option could have been more attainable.
Carlos Tevez, the former Manchester United striker, has shared his perspective on why Lionel Messi chose not to wait and sign with Barcelona to return to Camp Nou. Tevez believes that if Messi were to return to Barcelona, it would require some players to leave or potentially accept reduced wages.
To avoid causing any rifts within the team, Tevez suggests that Messi opted to move to the United States instead.
According to Tevez, Messi wanted to avoid putting his teammates in a position where they would have to take pay cuts for his return. He tried to avoid being seen as the cause of any financial difficulties within the club. Tevez believes that being unable to return to Barcelona, which Messi considers his home, was a painful decision.
He also suggests that the overall situation from Barcelona’s side could have been more welcoming and enthusiastic.
Barca wants a word from Ilkay Gundogan
After creating history with Manchester City, the Blues captain took the side to become the second team in English history to win the treble – the Premier League, the FA Cup, and the UEFA Champions League.
From historically bringing the Premier League last season to giving leadership to the side to get the treble to Manchester, Ilkay Gundogan’s performance has been exceptional.
At a time when the Catalan club is looking to venture on to their next hurdle after winning the La Liga title this season, the addition of Gundogan will be the perfect fit to bring in that dynamic style of play tagged with his leadership traits. Gundogan has a following worldwide – fans are also excitedly waiting to make their reservations for Barcelona tickets if the move goes through.
But it isn’t going to be easy. With the Champions League by his side, speculation is that seven European clubs are in line to sign the German.
Although Gundogan has not yet decided on his next career move, Barcelona reportedly wants a prompt response, according to Mundo Deportivo. City has offered the German international a contract extension, but he has also attracted significant interest from Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain.
Following Lionel Messi’s rejection of a return to the club in favor of joining MLS side Inter Miami, Barcelona’s immediate access to funds has reportedly created an opportunity for them to pursue new players. The club, which has faced financial difficulties, must adhere to LaLiga’s financial regulations to register new players, and signing Gundogan could be a viable option.
Reportedly, Barcelona is prepared to offer the 32-year-old midfielder a three-year contract, while City’s proposal is expected to be shorter.
Gundogan played a crucial role in Manchester City’s recent success, delivering standout performances and contributing important goals during their title-winning campaign in the Premier League, FA Cup final, and Champions League.
After City’s Champions League triumph, Gundogan mentioned that the team was prepared to handle the pressure and had succeeded despite external expectations.
Barca’s wonderkid for sale?
According to reports from Marca, Barcelona manager Xavi is considering a potential sale of Ansu Fati as part of the club’s reshuffle and efforts to generate transfer funds. Despite the improving financial situation at Barcelona, Xavi still has a limited transfer budget and needs to make strategic decisions for the future.
Fati, who showed great promise and was hailed as a generational talent during his early performances for Barcelona, has been plagued by injury issues. Getting the #10 shirt after Messi’s departure, Fati brought out hope to the distressed fans at Camp Nou with Barcelona tickets, but it was short-lived.
Xavi is concerned about Fati’s ability to consistently perform at the highest level due to these injury setbacks.
While Xavi has expressed his support for Fati, the club’s strong position with Fati under contract until 2027 means they have an opportunity to command a high transfer fee for the 20-year-old. This summer presents the best chance for Barcelona to maximize Fati’s sale value.
Although Premier League clubs have shown previous interest in Fati, concrete offers have yet to be made. Xavi may be forced to decide if he needs clarification about Fati’s ability to stay fit. If Barcelona receives an offer exceeding €60 million, Xavi could look to offload Fati, even though the young player is determined to continue fighting for his place at the club.
Fati won the hearts of everyone with Barcelona tickets at the start; he just couldn’t keep up with his form and eventually went on to being forgotten.
Aston Villa and Manchester United have been monitoring Ansu Fati’s situation at Barcelona. Both clubs will likely be interested in a talented young player like Fati, who has shown great potential despite his injury setbacks.
However, Manchester United currently faces uncertainty regarding their ownership situation. This could impact their ability to make significant transfer moves, including pursuing a player like Fati. Ownership issues can create challenges regarding financial resources and decision-making, affecting the club’s pursuit of transfer targets.
It remains to be seen how the ownership situation at Manchester United will unfold and if it will impact their transfer activities in the coming months.
Newcastle desperately wants Raphinha
Newcastle United has shown interest in Barcelona’s Raphinha and made an initial approach to the club. Barcelona, however, has not closed the door on negotiations but has asked for time to consider the situation. Barcelona’s priority has been to sell other players like Ansu Fati, Ferrán Torres, or Franck Kessié before June 30.
Still, the departure of these players has proven to be complicated as they are reluctant to leave.
Newcastle is persistent in exploring negotiations with Raphinha, despite knowing that the player prefers to stay in Barcelona. The economic offer from Newcastle could convince him, and the prospect of playing in the Champions League as part of a growing project is also appealing from a sporting perspective.
Raphinha has remained firm in his desire to stay, but Barcelona has yet to decide.
With Barcelona tickets now showing gradually for their pre-season tour, the La Liga champions have always brought fanfare. However, with the team playing their home games away from Camp Nou due to renovation, Barcelona tickets will be limited this season.