The Catalan club find themselves in a difficult situation, financially, around €1bn in debt and, crucially, around 40% over their La Liga salary cap.
Being over that cap means they can only reinvest 25% of any money they make, and there can be no exception to that, not even for Lionel Messi.
To allow Messi to sign a new contract, Barcelona need to make sure that the forward’s new deal is only worth 25% of the money they make this summer, and given the figures behind the Argentine’s deal, even with a pay cut, it’s going to take some significant departures.
And they are already on their way to doing that, following up the cancelling of Matheus Fernandes’ contract by loaning talented youngster Francisco Trincao to Wolves.
It has been confirmed that Trincao has joined Wolves on a season-long loan deal with the Midlands club holding a €31million option to buy in the deal.
It remains to be seen how much Wolves are contributing to the 21-year-old’s salary, but given there is an option to buy and given Barcelona’s situation, it’s likely they would need to cover all the wages or close to it.
Barcelona are still left needing a hefty clearout, but this is the first big step and the first significant exit that will contribute to what is now essentially a Messi fund.