Barcelona forward Lionel Messi is one of the best players in football history and the marquee superstar on a club full of them. As a result, the Argentine has massive influence in club operations. With his contract set to expire in 2018 and Barcelona keen to have him sign an extension in the near future, it has been reported that Messi is concerned about the club’s future and that he would like them to sign new players before he agrees to extend with the club.
According to Spanish news outlet Diario Gol via the Express, Messi has given Barcelona his transfer orders for the summer. He has told the club to sell midfielders Andre Gomes and Arda Turan, defenders Aleix Vidal and Jeremy Mathieu and striker Paco Alcacer. Messi reportedly wants the club to use the money made by selling those players to sign a high quality attacking midfielder along with defensive improvements. Both positions have been trouble spots this season as the £40 million Gomes was signed for that role and has failed to impress. Also, Barcelona has not adequately replaced Dani Alves at the right-back position.
Club officials have reportedly gone to London in order to discuss a deal to sign Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin. The Spaniard was previously on Barcelona’s books as a youth player, however he made the move to Arsenal where he has established himself as one of the best young full-backs in the Premier League. Despite recently signing a new contract with Arsenal, Barcelona is said to have made signing Bellerin a priority, although Arsenal will not let him go for cheap as the Gunners are said to be demanding at least £34 million for him.
Despite various injury and performance related struggles, Barcelona has managed to stay within striking distance of the league title. Sunday’s 3-2 El Clasico point took them level on points with rivals Real Madrid at the top of the table although Real has a game in hand. Despite the slight advantage by Los Blancos, Barcelona have an easier schedule, playing mostly lower-tier sides along with less fixture congestion. Real still has to play Valencia and Sevilla, who both managed to defeat the capital side this season along with tough Champions League fixtures against city rivals Atletico Madrid.