Messi leaves Barcelona: Blaugrana could sign replacement for departed superstar

By Sports Desk August 06, 2021

Barcelona have not ruled out signing a replacement for Lionel Messi despite their financial constraints.

Messi will not return for the 2021-22 season, Barca announced on Thursday, with a new deal unable to fit within LaLiga's salary restrictions.

President Joan Laporta, explaining the collapsed negotiations on Friday, confirmed new recruits Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia, Emerson Royal and Memphis Depay could be registered, though.

And despite a desperate financial situation, which Laporta said was "a lot worse than exposed initially", there could yet be a further arrival to help plug the gap left by Barca's greatest ever player.

"No, the first team squad isn't done, isn't closed," the president said. "The market closes on August 31, so lots of things could happen."

Barca already appear well stocked in attacking areas, with Aguero and Depay boosting a forward line that includes Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho.

Martin Braithwaite and Rey Manaj – the Barcelona B striker – have both played and scored for the Blaugrana in pre-season.

Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland was also linked early in the transfer window, although the Bundesliga outfit are highly unlikely to accommodate a sale Barca could afford.

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