BARCELONA

Barcelona free up Umtiti and Pjanic to help keep Messi

According to Mundo Deportivo, the club has offered them the chance to leave for free to help them balance the books with a Serie A return possible for Pjanic.

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Barcelona free up Umtiti and Pjanic to help keep Messi

According to Spanish news outlet Mundo Deportivo on Sunday, FC Barcelona are willing to give up on Samuel Umtiti and Miralem Pjanic. That is, the club is offering them the chance to join another club without the need for a transfer fee, and all because of their desire to keep Lionel Messi.

Messi ‘frees up’ Umtiti and Pjanic

Why would the club do this? It’s simply a case of economics. By lowering the overall wage bill - estimated to be by around 200 million euros ($237m) - they will be able to afford what Messi desires to stay at the Camp Nou. The Argentine star - still showing his worth in the Copa America - is currently out of contract.

The report states that neither of the two players, both seen as surplus to Ronald Koeman’s requirements for the season ahead, have accepted this offer. More than that, the belief is that Umtiti is keen to remain at the club and fight for his place.

Pjanic on the other hand is said to be pondering the option but is in no rush to decide. Both Inter Milan and Juventus are reportedly interested in the Bosnian.

Other players are also set to be offered the same exit clause but, despite the rational behind this strategy, it could backfire on Barça who could be in a significantly weaker position when round the negotiation table when discussing those players they do want to recoup transfer fees on.