Barcelona ready to sell five first team players in January to cut wage bill
FLASH SALE AT THE CAMP NOU! EVERYTHING MUST GO!
Barcelona are in a bit of a state at the moment. Actually, that's putting it lightly. Barcelona are in financial dire straights and desperately need to clear £170 million off their wage bill. It's this financial mess that led to them letting both Luis Suarez and Ivan Rakitić leave for a combined €7.5 million in the summer.
And the Catalan side are looking to offload five more first team players in January as they battle to balance the books.
According to Catalan newspaper Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona are putting up five players for sale in order to fund moves for Memphis Depay and Eric García, hoping to improve their financial situation somewhat at the same time.
The players up for sale include World Cup winners Ousmane Dembélé and Samuel Umitit, as well as La Masia graduate Carles Aleña, January signing Martin Braithwaite and Junior Firpo.
Dembélé was linked with a move to Manchester United in the summer but Barça would not accept a loan move, preferring to offload the winger permanently.
Both Dembélé and Umtiti have suffered from a series of injuries during their time at Barcelona, leading to the French duo falling down the pecking order below Ansu Fati and Clement Lenglet in their respective positions.
Carles Aleña is a highly rated central midfielder but faces tough competition for game time at the Camp Nou, with Frenkie De Jong, Miralem Pjanić and fellow academy graduate Riqui Puig all ahead of him.
Braithwaite was a controversial January signing, which only happened after LaLiga ruled that Barça's attacking injury crisis meant they could sign a new forward. To nobody's surprise, he has found himself struggling for minutes and his wage is burning a hole in Barcelona's pocket.
Junior Firpo, you might not have heard of. The 24-year-old left-back made 17 appearances for the Blaugrana last season but is yet to play this season, with Jordi Alba still very much first choice.