Barcelona's wage bill struggles have continued, and according to Catalan outlet El Nacional, the club now owe a combined €80 million in deferred wages. The Blaugrana are currently owing a number of their long-time players, including Gerard Pique, who has barely featured for the side this season. The defender, Jordi Alba, and Sergio Busquets have been legendary figures at Camp Nou, but the trio are yet to be paid their share.
Both Alba and Busquets have salaries amounting to approximately €20 million per year. Pique's salary, according to OK Diario, is a massive €30 million per annum, which puts the combined salary of the trio at €70 million each year. According to the Catalan media outlet, the Blaugrana deferred their payments, which have come to a total of around €80 million.
El Nacional states that Barcelona are now working to reduce their wage bill, which will mean letting the trio leave the club at the end of their contracts. While Busquets' deal will end in 2023, the two defenders will see their contracts expire in 2024, although the club can let Pique go in 2023 if he doesn't play 35% of games this season.
Barca's economic vice president Eduard Romeu explained the situation:
"We still have a significant imbalance but we have a series of important contractual maturities that end this year and next, and next season we are already at the point where we want to be."
Barcelona prepare to build a statue for Lionel Messi
While their three legends might have to leave in the coming years in order to reduce the wage bill, another legend could be returning to Camp Nou. While there is no certainty that the Blaugrana will re-sign Lionel Messi, the Spanish giants will immortalize the forward.
Over the weekend, while speaking to the club's general assembly, Barcelona president Joan Laporta expressed these plans to the public (via Goal):
“We will build a statue of Leo Messi outside the Camp Nou. The decision has been made.”
While the Blaugranes are likely pleased about this decision, potentially getting their legendary player back at Camp Nou in person will be a better deal. With PSG yet to announce a renewal for Lionel Messi's contract (which will expire in the summer), Barcelona fans can still hope for the best.