Football

Barcelona set to axe TEN players in summer transfer cull including Coutinho, Dembele, Umtiti and Griezmann


BARCELONA president Joan Laporta is ready to wield the axe and cut as many as ten first-team players in a summer overhaul.

Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho are just two star names who could be sold as the Spanish giants look to cure their ailing finances while also turning the team around.

Antoine Griezmann could lead a huge Barcelona summer clearout

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Antoine Griezmann could lead a huge Barcelona summer clearoutCredit: AFP

An early exit from the Champions League and the team’s failure in the LaLiga title race have emphasised the need for a fresh approach.

And, according to Sport, the starting point will be securing Lionel Messi’s contract.

Barcelona are said to be confident that the Argentine will sign a new deal, allowing them to press ahead with the potential sale of Griezmann.

If Messi does not stay, the Frenchman’s position in the team will likely change drastically and a higher price tag placed on his head.

Another major contract extension will also prove vital to the summer with the Catalans reportedly wanting Ousmane Dembele to commit his future by the end of July.

If the winger does not extend his current deal, which expires in 2022, he will be available for transfer.

A number of senior players who have not quite hit the high notes at the Camp Nou are named as up for sale, from Coutinho and Miralem Pjanic to Martin Braithwaite, Junior Firpo and Neto.

One-time Arsenal target Samuel Umtiti could finally move after a torrid time with injuries.

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Matheus Fernandes is being considered for a sale while academy starlet Riqui Puig may be allowed to leave on loan.

The futures of Francisco Trincao, Sergino Dest and Clement Lenglet are not thought to be in immediate danger but the potential replacement of coach Ronald Koeman could change that.

Even club stalwarts Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets and Sergi Roberto are said to not be safe from the clearout as Barcelona attempt to agree a fresh round of pay cuts with the quartet.

It leaves just Messi, Frenkie de Jong, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Ronald Araujo, Oscar Mingueza, Pedri, Ilaix Moriba and Ansu Fati as indispensable in the eyes of the Blaugrana hierarchy.

It would not be the first time Barcelona were linked with a huge overhaul after last summer was tipped to feature a major axe-wielding.

That year, Luis Suarez was controversially allowed to leave for free to eventual champions Atletico Madrid with serious fees brought in for only Nelson Semedo, Marc Cucurella and Carles Perez.

A cycle has finished, we are entering a process of renewal.

Joan Laporta

Club president Laporta has admitted that he will not be able to move on every unwanted player but is determined to start the ‘process’.

He recently told the XXIV Festa de L’Esport Catala: “A cycle has finished, we are entering a process of renewal.

“Starting next week, decisions will be made to build a more competitive team next year in order to win the Champions League and LaLiga.

“When I talk about the end of the cycle and renewal, it is because I think that is what we must do.”

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Furious Barcelona fans surround Antoine Griezmann’s car and demand he show respect to Lionel Messi after bust-up





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