July 18, 2019
Football

Lionel Messi angered, tells Barca the THREE players that must be sold

dailystar: This comes after the Spanish champions were dumped out of the Champions League by Liverpool at the semi-final stage on Tuesday.

The Catalans had led 3-0 going into the second leg at Anfield but a 4-0 reversal saw them bow out 4-3 on aggregate.

Ernesto Valverde’s men continue to extend their domestic domination after claiming another La Liga title and could lift the Copa del Rey in a couple of weeks.

But the former Athletic Bilbao boss’ obsession is with winning the Champions League – something that has been a failure in Catalonia for the last four seasons.

Another man fuming in the dressing room is Messi after his two-goal haul in the first leg of the semi-final was ultimately still not enough.

The Argentina international was desperate to win the Champions League this season after seeing Real Madrid and Cristiano Ronaldo’s dominance in recent years.

Messi is locked on four Champions League wins in his career while Ronaldo has five after winning the competition in four of the previous five years.

And another season of failure has led to drastic measures, according to Spanish publication Sport.

Messi has now asked Barcelona to get rid of Philippe Coutinho, Ivan Rakitic and Samuel Umtiti.

Coutinho’s exit from the Camp Nou is imminent and he has been linked with Paris Saint-Germain, while a return to Liverpool or even Manchester United has not been ruled out.

The Brazil international has not lived up to expectations since his £142m move from Liverpool last January.

Ivan Rakitic is a more surprising name to some up but the Croatian’s performances have taken a dip in the last few months.

Additionally, with Frenkie de Jong set to arrive this July and Riqui Puig also knocking for a promotion to the first team, it may been in the best of the Catalans’ interest to sell the 31-year-old Rakitic.

Lastly, Samuel Umtiti is now a virtually dead man in the Camp Nou and has lost out on his starting berth to Clement Lenglet.

The Frenchman risks falling further down in the pecking order due to the proposed arrival of Matthijs de Ligt this summer and hence, Barcelona could look to offload him in order to earn cash and make room in the squad.

Either way, Barcelona and Messi need to change something or risk falling behind the Premier League clubs.

With Real Madrid and Bayern Munich not up to scratch this season and likely to be stronger again next season, this year was a huge chance to win another Champions League.

Source: Published by dailystar

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