FC Barcelona sent shockwaves around the footballing world when they announced earlier this summer that Lionel Messi would not be staying at the club. With the transfer window in full swing now, Barca could less surprisingly offload more players as they desperately look to cut costs.
The 2021/22 La Liga have already started, and despite Messi's departure, the Catalan outfit still have a squad capable of emerging as the champions of Spain.
Welcome to our special live blog relating to all Barcelona transfer rumours, latest breaking news and everything related to the famous Catalan giants.
Busquets and Sergi Roberto expected to take pay cut
Both Sergio Busquets and Sergi Roberto are expected to take pay cuts at Barcelona, Marca report. The Spanish outlet says Busquets 'can expect a pay cut of 25 per cent' and give up one of the clauses in his contract, while Roberto is expected to extend his contract with the Catalan outfit with a lower salary.
Pjanic and Umtiti not included in Barcelona squad for trip to San Mames
Miralem Pjanic and Samuel Umtiti, both of whom are among players Barcelona could offload this summer, have not been included in the club's squad for the La Liga clash with Athletic Club.
Meanwhile, Gerard Pique, who was earlier reported could be rested for the match, has been included.
Here is the Barcelona squad vs Athletic Club:
Goalkeepers: Neto, Inaki Pena, Arnau Tenas.
Defenders: Sergino Dest, Emerson Royal, Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet, Eric Garcia, Ronald Araujo, Jordi Alba, Alejandro Balde.
Midfielders: Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong, Pedri, Sergi Roberto, Riqui Puig, Nico Gonzalez, Yusuf Demir, Gavi.
Forwards: Antoine Griezmann, Memphis Depay, Martin Braithwaite, Rey Manaj.
Pique could be rested against Athletic Club
Gerard Pique could be rested for FC Barcelona's next La Liga clash with Athletic Club. The Spaniard, who had scored Barcelona's first goal of the new league season, had ended the club's clash with Real Sociedad with some discomfort. Barcelona's medics are reported to recommended the defender rest for a week.
Barcelona frustrated with Umtiti's attitude
FC Barcelona are frustrated with Samuel Umtiti's attitue and has given the French defender a week's time to agree to a move away from the club, according to SPORT. The Spanish outlet adds if Umtiti refuses to accept the offers that are on table, Barca may unilaterally terminate his contract.
'We've got some work to do because with Messi it is easier' - Dest
Sergino Dest has confessed things were easier for Barcelona with Messi, but expressed belief the club can achieve a lot if they 'play collectively and keep the chemistry high'.
"I was shocked a little bit because everyone wanted him to stay at the club," Dest told ESPN [via Marca]
"He's the best player in the world. It was a shock for everyone. We wish he could have stayed. Unfortunately, he couldn't.
"We've got some work to do because with Messi it is easier, he's the best player in the world. But I think if we play collectively and keep the chemistry high, we can achieve a lot.
"At the training ground and on the pitch, you see unbelievable things. You see how he scores those goals. What you see on the pitch is the same, even when you're that close. It's unbelievable to see him like that.
"We all have him in our hearts. It's Messi. It just feels weird because he played for so long at this club, almost his whole life, and suddenly he had to leave. But we have to focus on the new season."
Ancelotti surprised with Messi's Barcelona departure
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has revealed Lionel Messi's FC Barcelona departure surprised him a bit. "It surprised me a bit because since a kid he was at Barca," Ancelotti said, as quoted by SPORT.
"But I’ve had 42 years in football and it doesn’t surprise me that a player changes clubs. It was strange in football 42 years ago but not today’s game. I have a lot respect for the decision of Barcelona and Messi."
Koeman says Barca must 'close the book' on Messi
FC Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has said the club must 'close the book' on Lionel Messi and focus on the upcoming season after the Argentine left the club earlier this summer.