FC Barcelona have made significant progress in their bid to show the exit door to numerous fringe players. Unfortunately, they have not made a big enough dent in their wage bill to be able to free up enough room in their salary cap for next season. With the summer transfer window rolling by quickly, the club needs to find a way to sell both Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho, who can potentially slash over 100 million euros off their expenses.
Griezmann is reportedly involved in a swap deal for Saul Niguez from his former club, Atletico Madrid. Talks are reportedly progressing, with La Liga keeping close watch on the transactions between the two clubs. The Frenchman made the move from Atletico to Barcelona two years ago, and after failing to achieve the same level of success, he has agreed to leave Camp Nou, but only for a move back to his former club.
The Catalans signed Griezmann for 120 million euros on a five-year deal, meaning they could potentially save about 72 million euros if he is sold this summer.
Meanwhile, Coutinho's exit can slash the wage bill even further. The Brazilian failed to impress last season, and even with two years still left on his contract, the Blaugrana are hoping to cash in this summer.
His departure will be worth 44 million euros in savings. Add that on top of Griezmann's 72 million, and Barcelona can free themselves from over 100 million euros in total. That's almost 50 million off their annual wage bill.
However, even if both Griezmann and Coutinho end up leaving, they will free up only about half of what the club really needs to shave off. It will be a boost for sure, but it won't be enough for the club to be able to register all of their confirmed signings this summer, namely Sergio Aguero, Memphis Depay, Eric Garcia and Emerson Royal.
This also means the club won't be able to finalise a new deal with Lionel Messi, who has already accepted a massive pay cut to help the club. As it stands, it seems like all of the club's efforts are not enough to balance their books for the coming season. The clock is ticking, and it remains to be seen if Joan Laporta still has rabbits in his hat.