Barcelona President Talks about Messi, Xavi, and Sanchez Futures

Barcelona have categorically stated that they will not allow Lionel Messi to leave the club at any price. The Catalan giants have been in negotiations with Liverpool for the past few days over the transfer of Luis Suarez. It looks as if the Uruguay striker will become one of the most expensive players in the world. Liverpool are demanding £80 million for the striker, while Barcelona are reportedly looking to pay around £70 million. Betfair puts Suarez at 2/9 to become a Barcelona player after the 2014 summer transfer window.

Either way, the talk of large sums of money exchanging hands has once again brought back rumours about Messi being sold. The 27-year-old looked less than happy towards the end of last season. His poor form was a major reason towards Barcelona winning no major trophies last season. Even though Messi’s camp denied speculation that the player was unhappy because of his wages, he soon signed a new £16 million per year contract that made him the highest earning football player in the world eclipsing Cristiano Ronaldo.

Only a few clubs will be able to sign Messi with his release clause at a staggering £250 million. Yet, Barcelona’s attempts to sign Suarez, despite the several controversies surrounding the disgraced star, hint at desperation at times.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu, though, confirmed that Messi will remain at Barcelona. “As far as I'm concerned Messi doesn't want to leave,” said Bartomeu. “A few days ago we adapted his contract and he is very happy here.”

The future of players like Xavi Hernandez and Alexis Sanchez, though, is less clear. Sanchez has been spoken of as a potential part of the deal that would bring Suarez to the Camp Nou. The Chilean would be heading to Anfield along with Barcelona paying just over £60 million. Bartomeu accepted that have been several transfer rumours surrounding Sanchez, but he does not understand the reasons.

After a first season of struggles, Sanchez became one of the best players at the club last season. In fact, there were several occasions when he even outshined Messi. He is subjected to transfer interest from several clubs across Europe according to Bartomeu. The primary reason for Barcelona to consider selling Sanchez is the transfer fee and space in the squad. Barcelona have huge debts, but they need to spend this summer in order to strengthen several areas of the pitch.

Selling a player valued at £30 million makes a lot of sense especially given that Suarez can also play in Sanchez’ position. Further, manager Luis Enrique will find it difficult to provide enough game time to both Suarez and Sanchez once the Uruguay star comes to the Camp Nou. Currently, Barcelona are behind 2014 Champions League winners Real Madrid as the favourites for the league title. While Betfair places Madrid at 833/1000, Barcelona are 6/5 to win the la Liga title in the 2014-15 season.

These odds could change significantly upon the arrival of Suarez, who scored 31 league goals last season.

One player who is widely expected to leave Barcelona is Xavi Hernandez. Since making his debut in 1998, the little midfielder has made more than 700 appearances in all competitions. He has been a major reason towards the unprecedented success achieved by Barcelona since 2008. However, his time at the club appears to be coming to a close with a move to Qatar be heavily mooted. Bartomeu said that Xavi’s future has not been decided yet, but Barcelona will allow the player sufficient time to make his mind. Xavi still has one year left on his contract with Barcelona. 

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