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Barcelona's pre-season starts with many unsolved issues

Tue Jul 13, 2021
Barcelona's pre-season preparations officially began on Monday morning after players and staff underwent PCR, medical and fitness tests over the weekend. It has been a month and a half since the 2020/21 campaign came to an end, yet Barcelona kick off their preparations for next season with the same issues being unsolved. Messi yet to renew Lionel Messi's contact with Barcelona officially expired on July 1 and the club have yet to announce an extension as they need to balance their books due to LaLiga's financial fair play rules. With a month to go until the 2021/22 season kicks off, everything concerning Messi's new deal is up in the air for the time being. No big sale Barcelona need to offload some of their most valuable assets in order to balance the books and help strengthen the team. Yet, the COVID-19 outbreak has clearly affected the market and the Blaugrana will struggle to cash in on players this summer. Meanwhile, Ousmane Dembele picked up an injury, one which will sideline him for a few months, while Antoine Griezmann could steal the limelight in this transfer window. More injuries Ansu Fati and Philippe Coutinho have yet to recover from the injuries they suffered last season, while Marc-Andre ter Stegen underwent surgery in May and missed out on Euro 2020 as a result. In the European Championship, Dembele picked up a knock, one which required surgery. Contract renewals up in the air: Dembele, Sergi Roberto and Moriba Barcelona were willing to either renew Dembele's deal or sell the prodigious forward this summer in the event he turns down their offer. His injury has changed the club's plans, as Dembele's contract is coming to an end in 2022. Ilaix Moriba rejected Barcelona's first contract renewal offer and didn't join the rest of the first team's squad for the pre-season preparations, while Sergi Roberto's future also remains uncertain. Reducing wages To comply with LaLiga's financial fair play rules, Barcelona need to adjust the player salaries, but there has been no official announcement regarding this matter for the time being. "Everyone has to know where we are," Ronald Koeman said on Friday. "Those of us who know about the state of the club are concerned. Like last year, the players helped the club and, if they need to help a little more, they have to make an effort, like me as a coach." A midfielder is missing Barcelona were close to signing Georginio Wijnaldum on a free transfer, but the Dutchman decided to join Paris Saint-Germain and the Blaugrana have yet to sign a player to strengthen their midfield. Koeman continues Despite his future at Barcelona being highly uncertain, Koeman will continue at the club for another season after reaching an agreement with the new board. Four signings already Barcelona have officially announced the signings of Emerson, Memphis Depay, Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia, with the last three joining the club on free transfers. Some departures Juan Miranda, Jean-Clair Todibo, Konrad de la Fuente, Matheus Fernandes, Trincao, Junior Firpo, Carles Alena and Sergio Akieme have all departed Barcelona this summer to make space in the salary budget.

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