Barcelona have declared that they are on a mission to prove that, once and for all, all they really need to be successful is Lionel Messi.
The Catalan giants got rid of their second best player, Neymar, shipping him off to Paris after realising that the Brazilian contributes far too much to the team for anyone to rightfully describe Barca as a one-man unit.
It is rumoured that Barca cared not for where Neymar ended up, just that he ended up somewhere else and were willing to let him go for free, but PSG, out of the kindness of their own hearts, insisted that they pay some sort of fee. Barca eventually agreed to accept nearly £200million for the Brazilian, albeit begrudgingly.
Barcelona, now richer than they have ever been, seem hell bent on proving that Messi is a footballing messiah and that he has no need for able and talented team mates.
Messi in the Bernabeu vs. Ronaldo in the Nou Camp pic.twitter.com/sMrnNWlIKc
— B/R Football (@brfootball) August 13, 2017
This new direction is only proven further by Barcelona’s latest move in the transfer market, snapping up former Tottenham midfielder Paulinho from Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande for nearly £40 million. It is believed that the five-time European champions are planning on following in Tottenham’s footsteps after they sold talisman Gareth Bale, by buying all of the players that Spurs bought following the Welshman’s departure, in a bid to ensure that Messi well and truly stands out amongst his teammates.
Barcelona apparently admire the way in which Tottenham haphazardly spent the Bale money, creating a mostly average team and will not venture from the path set out by the North London outfit.
Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu explained:
“We want Messi to be surrounded by players that are much worse than him, that way he will stand out and be sure to win the Balon d’Or this season.
“Do you remember when we signed Thomas Vermaelen from Arsenal? Yes, that is the kind of signing we are looking to replicate several times over the next few weeks.”
Elsewhere, Fenerbahçe are bracing themselves, with Roberto Soldado expected to hand in a transfer request, despite having been there only a few days, so great is the interest from Barcelona. Fenerbahçe are reportedly powerless to stop their new star striker going and have accepted that they will have to find someone else who can score a guaranteed seven goals a season.
Once they have secured the signing of Soldado, the whole gaggle of Gareth Bale replacements are expected to rattle through the Nou Camp doors within days. Etienne Capoue reportedly skipped training at Watford today, taking a leaf out of the Ousmane Dembele book, while West Brom manager Tony Pulis admitted that Nacer Chadli has already had his head turned by the new project brewing in Catalonia and expects the Belgian to leave any minute.
Vlad Chiriches had to quickly delete a tweet that was geotagged in Spain, with many reports surfacing that claim to have seen the player, currently under contract at Napoli, entering a medical facility not far from the Nou Camp.
Negotiations with Erik Lamela however, are proving to be a bit trickier, with neither party refusing to back down on a clause in his contract that would allow the Argentine to score one flamboyant goal per season.
Barca chiefs are said to be heavily deliberating over Christian Eriksen, however, who they sense might not fit the bill in this window. They feel that the Dane’s remarkable range of passing, set piece nous and incredible vision might just draw some attention away from Messi.
Bids for players such as Phillipe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele have only been to appease fans and distract from Barca’s true plan of action reportedly.
On top of all of this, Andros Townsend’s representatives are claiming to have been contacted by Barcelona, while Jonjo Shelvey continues to be linked with a switch to the Spanish giants.
Lastly, Luis Suarez, arguably the finest No.9 in the world, has been told he can return to Uruguay, join Diego Costa in footballing exile or change his name to Lionel Messi and remain at Barcelona working as a body double for the Argentinian magician. A close source (said to be Suarez’ third cousin’s stepfather) has said that the Uruguayan is weighing up his options.
While the ultimate goal is to have Messi winning Balon d’Ors for free again, this could also be seen as a sneaky long-term ploy to lure talented manager Mauricio Pochetino to the Nou Camp, by potentially granting him a second opportunity to fire all of the above the mentioned players.
Pochettino has even been told he won’t have to pay taxes if he takes up the Barca mantle.