Barcelona put squad up for sale: Lionel Messi one of only five players safe from axe

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Barcelona are a football club in crisis after their humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals last week.

Quique Setien will be replaced as the team’s head coach, with Ronald Koeman expected to replace the Spaniard at Camp Nou.

Barça’s president Josep Maria Bartomeu is also under intense pressure as Lionel Messi, for the first time in his career, seriously threatens to leave the club.

Messi, who turned 33 in June, has reportedly informed Barcelona’s management that he wants to leave because he doesn’t trust the sporting project.

The legendary forward voiced his anger after Real Madrid beat Barça to the La Liga title in July and looked utterly dejected as Bayern tore his team apart in Lisbon.

A report in Mundo Deportivo - via the Daily Mail - claims that Barcelona have reacted to one of the worst ever defeats by putting the entire squad up for sale.

Well, almost the entire squad.

Only five players are reportedly safe from the impending overhaul, and they are…

Lionel Messi

Obviously. Barcelona will do everything in their power to keep the world’s best player at Camp Nou.

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Marc-Andre ter Stegen

He may have conceded eight goals against Bayern but the German is unquestionably one of the world’s best goalkeepers.

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Frenkie de Jong

The Dutchman has flattered to deceive on occasions during his debut season with Barcelona; however, there’s plenty more to come from the talented 23-year-old midfielder.

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Ansu Fati

The 17-year-old winger has the world at his feet.

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Riqui Puig

The 21-year-old is one of the most talented La Masia graduates in years and possesses all the tools required to become a top central midfielder.

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These are the five players not in danger of the axe.

Luis Suarez and Jordi Alba could be among the players who leave the Catalan giants this summer.

Suarez, who is one of Messi’s closest friends in football, has been linked with a move back to Ajax in recent days.

Barcelona are planning to replace Suarez with Inter Milan forward Lautaro Martinez.

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Mundo Deportivo’s report adds that the club would like to get France international teammates Samuel Umtiti and Ousmane Dembele off the wage bill due to a combination of disappointing behaviour and injury problems.

Barça will also accept an offer for Antoine Griezmann provided the price is right.

The French forward arrived last summer from Atletico Madrid in a deal worth £107 million but has looked out of place at times. In 35 La Liga appearances, the World Cup winner scored just nine goals.

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Ivan Rakitic, meanwhile, is being pushed to leave the club.

There’s also a chance that both Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets could be plying their trade elsewhere during the 2020-21 season.

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