La Liga 'lacking star player' after Messi's Barcelona exit
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Following a whirlwind summer of transfer activity, Barcelona’s focus has shifted to tying three players down to new contracts. On the back of offloading two of their biggest stars in the space of a month, Barcelona are now looking to cement a young trio’s futures at the club.
Amid financial troubles, with president Joan Laporta confirming debt worth £1.15billion (€1.35bn), Barca lost their greatest-ever icon in the summer.
After 21 years at the club, Lionel Messi couldn’t renew his contract, despite accepting a significant wage cut, and joined Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer.
Antoine Griezmann also returned to Atletico Madrid just two years after arriving at Camp Nou in a £108million deal.
Ronald Koeman has brought in attacking reinforcements, including Memphis Depay, Sergio Aguero and Luuk de Jong.
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But along with the ‘new era’ feel after Messi’s sudden departure, there are many eyes on the younger players in Koeman’s squad.
According to Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona are prioritising extending Pedri, Ousmane Dembele and Ansu Fati’s contracts with the transfer window now closed.
Laporta wants Dembele to commit his future to Barca after he entered the final 12 months of his current deal in the summer.
The 24-year-old winger is ‘receptive’ to continuing at Camp Nou, and there will soon be a meeting with his agent to work towards fresh terms.
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Fati and Pedri, both 18, are being tipped to carry legacies similar to Messi’s at Barcelona, so it’s no surprise the club is desperate to tie them down to new contracts.
Mundo Deportivo claim Fati has been told that he is viewed as the club’s present and future after inheriting the number 10 shirt from Messi.
Barcelona are said to be optimistic over reaching an agreement over Fati’s future due to the player’s desire and commitment to continue.
The teenage sensation has been plagued by injury in recent times but is one of Europe’s most promising young talents.
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Pedri has made serious waves across Europe and on the international stage over the last year due to the number of games he’s played for club and country.
His importance to Koeman and Spain perfectly demonstrates the quality he possesses in midfield as a teenager.
Pedri’s current deal can be automatically extended by two years, but Barcelona want to give him a new five-year contract to show their faith in him.
There is hope he, along with Fati and Dembele, can have a long career with the Blaugrana.
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