Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman will be breathing a huge sigh of relief after Lionel Messi announced his intention to stay at Camp Nou for the 2020-21 season.
Messi finally spoke out on Friday, admitting he is angry and frustrated with the current situation at Barça under president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
The 33-year-old revealed he wanted to leave the club but was unable to because Barcelona won’t sell him for anything less than his €700 million release clause.
Messi doesn’t want to take Barça to court, so has reluctantly agreed to stay for the upcoming season.
Have we heard the last of this saga? Almost certainly not. Even if Messi stays for the 2020-21 campaign, he will be able to leave Camp Nou as a free agent in less than 12 months’ time.
Messi doesn’t believe this current Barcelona team is good enough to challenge for the Champions League - a trophy he hasn’t won since 2015.
But will Barça’s potential next two signings make the club more competitive in Europe?
According to reports that are gathering momentum, Liverpool’s Georginio Wijnaldum and Lyon’s Memphis Depay - who Koeman knows well from his time as the Netherlands’ head coach - are both poised to join the Catalan club.
So, how might Barcelona’s starting line-up look with Messi, Memphis and Wijnaldum?
Let’s take a closer look…
Goalkeeper: Marc-Andre ter Stegen
One of the world’s very best goalkeepers, Marc-Andre ter Stegen is a class act who makes Barcelona a better team.
Right-back: Nelson Semedo
It’s a toss-up between Nelson Semedo and Sergi Roberto at right-back. Barcelona need to find another Dani Alves from somewhere.
Centre-back: Gerard Pique
Koeman wants Gerard Pique, 34 in February, to continue in the heart of Barcelona’s defence.
Centre-back: Clement Lenglet
Is Clement Lenglet good enough to be starting week-in, week-out for Barça? The Frenchman will need to convince Koeman over the coming months.
Left-back: Jordi Alba
Koeman reportedly wants to replace Jordi Alba but the Spaniard is likely to start the season as the club’s first-choice left-back.
Midfield: Frenkie de Jong
After a mixed debut season, Koeman will be looking to bring the best out of his compatriot.
Midfield: Philippe Coutinho
Koeman knows exactly what Philippe Coutinho is capable of from his time in the Premier League. The Brazilian may get the nod over new arrival Miralem Pjanic.
Midfield: Georginio Wijnaldum
Liverpool fans will be disappointed to see Wijnaldum leave Anfield for Camp Nou. A good team player, the Reds’ loss will be Barcelona’s gain.
Right-wing: Lionel Messi
An unhappy Messi will still be better than almost every player in world football. That said, the sooner Koeman can put a smile back on the Argentine’s face, the better.
Left-wing: Memphis Depay
He struggled at Manchester United but it seems Memphis is about to be handed the opportunity to play for another of the world’s biggest clubs. He may end up starting ahead of the inconsistent Ousmane Dembele.
Centre-forward: Antoine Griezmann
Koeman has already said that he doesn’t want Antoine Griezmann playing out on the wing, which means we can expect to see the World Cup winner in a more central role this season.
And here’s Barcelona’s potential 2020-21 XI on paper…
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