'Barcelona made a mistake not selling Messi last summer': Rivaldo

'Barcelona made a mistake not selling Messi last summer': Rivaldo

Rivaldo believes Barca could've earned around €100m had they sold Messi last summer, just like Madrid did with Ronaldo.

The Brazilian believes that Coutinho is one of the players that are most likely to be sold next summer.

In turn, the Catalans would get to keep players like Griezmann and Dembele.

"Barcelona were not in good financial health pre-pandemic, but things got nasty in the last year and beyond Lionel Messi's almost inevitable departure, the club may need to sell some more important players to generate income," Rivaldo writes in his Betfair column.

"As I mentioned previously, the club's board made a mistake by not selling Lionel Messi while he was still under contract, something Real Madrid did with Cristiano Ronaldo receiving around €100m in exchange.

"It's sad to see such a talented and valuable player leaving Barca for free when the club is going through so many financial problems.

"But looking to potential transfers that might occur, I think Phillipe Coutinho time may be coming to an end. He has admirers in England and perhaps Barcelona could generate some good income with his sale, allowing them to keep others like Ousmane Dembele and Antoine Griezmann.

"The Brazilian never managed to show his best football in Spain, and since his better moments happened in Premier League I'm sure there will be clubs interested in his services and available to pay considerable amounts, although not quite what Barcelona paid to Liverpool!"

Messi asked to be sold last summer but then-president Josep Maria Bartomeu refused to let him go. The Argentine's deal expires this summer and he's yet to decide whether he will continue at Camp Nou or leave for free.

As for Barca's financial struggles, the club is said to have a total debt of over one billion euros.

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