FC Barcelona is still deep in a financial crisis and things will only get worse if Lionel Messi signs his renewal. Despite that fact that the Argentine brings in a large chunk of the club's annual revenue, the club would still need to offload several players in order to meet the salary cap imposed by La Liga Santander.

The results of Barcelona's internal audit have not been fully revealed yet, but Spanish media are convinced that the Catalan giants will need to find a way to free up 200 million euros in wages. Club president Joan Laporta confirmed as much, saying that the financial situation is very complicated, reports Marca.

They have so far been able to make massive moves this summer despite their financial limitations by mostly going for players who were available on free transfers. They have already signed Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia, Emerson Royal and Memphis Depay, but have not yet offloaded any big names.

Lionel Messi's contract renewal is still pending, and with his salary taking up a large chunk of the team's overall expenditure, a lot depends on that signature. It will be a massive balancing act for the club, who will be losing a major expense but will also be set to lose millions from sponsorships and merchandise sales if Messi chooses to leave.

If he stays, more players will have to face salary cuts and there will be an urgency to offload members of the squad with high salaries. The injury on Ousmane Dembele has been a major setback for the club, as they may no longer to cash in on him this summer. They will be looking for buyers for others valuable players like Philippe Coutinho and Martin Braithwaite, with the likes of Sergi Roberto, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba facing salary cuts or surprise exits as well.

Four days remain before Messi becomes a free agent, and with so much at stake, Laporta wants the issue settled as soon as possible. It is believed that Messi wants to stay, but the delay is telling a different story. Either way, the truth will be revealed in a few days.

Antoine Griezmann
Antoine Griezmann celebrates with Lionel Messi after scoring a sensational chip against Villarreal on Sunday. AFP / JOSE JORDAN