Lionel Messi reportedly agreed to a massive 50 percent pay cut in order to renew his contract with FC Barcelona. However, the deal can't be signed and the player can't be registered just yet. Club president Joan Laporta is now hoping that based on Messi's example, he will be able to convince other key first team players who have existing contracts to accept reduced wages in the coming season.
The truth is, Messi's renewal does not rely solely on his agreement with the club. The Catalan giants still need to comply with La Liga Santander's financial fair play regulations before Messi can be accommodated by the squad next season. Because Barcelona has gone way over the salary cap, they need to sell players practically en masse this summer, and at the same time slash the wages of players who will remain.
According to Marca, sporting director Mateu Alemany has already reached out to at least four key first team squad members about possible salary reductions. He has reportedly made contact with the agents of Sergio Busquets, Sergi Roberto, Jordi Alba and Gerard Pique.
All four players have existing deals with the club, and have already accepted salary reductions late last year at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. They are under no real obligation to accept further cuts, but the club executives are hoping that they will agree based on Messi's example.
Actual negotiations are believed to be scheduled to start as soon as possible. The same report states that a 40 percent wage reduction will be proposed, but that figure may still vary.
It will be a monumental task for the club, given that this is just one part of a multi-layered program to solve their financial crisis. They have already let go of several fringe players, but they are having difficulty offloading bigger and more valuable players like Antoine Griezmann, Philippe Coutinho, Samuel Umtiti and Ousmane Dembele.
Even if some big names are sold, the club still needs some of the existing players to agree to some form of salary reduction. Otherwise, not only will they be unable to finalise a deal with Messi, they won't be able to register all of their confirmed signings either.
As of now, Sergio Aguero, Memphis Depay, Eric Garcia and Emerson Royal have been signed, but La Liga has not allowed for them to be registered unless Barcelona gets under the salary cap.