FC Barcelona are on a desperate mission to drastically slash their wage bill for the coming season in order to meet La Liga Santander's salary cap regulations. Unfortunately, not all players are to keen to accept further reductions after wages had already been slashed last season.
Four veterans players have reportedly been approached by the club, and negotiations have started to take place this week. The club waited to confirm Lionel Messi's decision to accept a 50% wage cut on his pending new deal before using it as an example before speaking to other key players.
According to BarcaBlaugranes, Gerard Piqué, Sergi Roberto, and Sergio Busquets may be swayed by Messi's lead, but Jordi Alba is not as keen to accept the new proposal. Last season, all club employees suffered salary reductions believed to be around 10%. Now, the club is looking to slash a further 40% from wages, bringing the reduction at par with Messi's deal.
Messi won't be able to rejoin the club if they fail to free up space in their salary cap, and these five players are being asked to make a huge financial sacrifice to make that happen. The report suggests that Piquet already has an "understanding" with the club, with Busquets also leaning towards accepting the deal. Sergi Roberto is still attracting interest from outside, and may be offloaded if a good offer comes in.
However, if Jordi Alba resists, he might sway the others in the opposite direction. After all, these players have existing contracts, and are under no obligation to accept the wage cut proposal.
Club president Joan Laporta is reportedly planning on meeting Alba face-to-face in the coming days in order to plead his case in person. Laporta is facing an uphill climb this summer, as he struggles to balance the club's books amid the financial turmoil.
He is in danger of being unable to deliver on his promise of keeping Messi at the Camp Nou, not because he didn't convince the player, but because the salary cap simply won't be able to accommodate the Argentine.
Apart from hoping the existing squad will accept further salary reductions, Barcelona also need to sell more players. Antoine Griezmann is on top of the list, being the club's current top earner. However, even his exit won't be enough. There are so many moving parts and while negotiations are in motion, Barcelona are running out of time.
Apart from Messi, the club may also fail to register newly signed players like Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia and Memphis Depay if they are not able to sort out their finances.