Barcelona: Koeman hopes Messi stays for 'many more years'
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Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman has told club president Joan Laporta to avoid signing two of their reported targets this summer, as the Spanish giants struggle with financial constraints. They are keen to offload various squad players this summer, to generate funds to bring in some fresh faces to the Camp Nou.
The two players that Koeman is reportedly not keen on signing are Atalanta’s Cristian Romero and Lille’s Renato Sanches, according to Spanish outlet Sport.
Romero was voted Serie A Defender of the Year last season and has also attracted interest from Tottenham.
The Argentine was part of the Atalanta team that finished third in the Italian top-flight last campaign.
Sanches was also crucial to his team’s success last season, as he played a key part in Lille’s Ligue 1 title-winning campaign last time out.
The Portuguese is said to be wanted by various top clubs around Europe, including Liverpool and Arsenal.
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Koeman doesn’t want to sign Romero because he feels that they are already well-stocked in that position – especially after the signing of Manchester City’s Eric Garica.
As for Sanches, although Koeman wants to sign a midfielder, he does not believe that the Portuguese international is the right player.
Barcelona have already signed Garcia, Memphis Depay, Sergio Aguero, and Emerson during this transfer window.
However, they are said to be currently unable to add any more players to their squad because they have exceeded the staff cost limit imposed by La Liga, meaning they need to sell players this summer.
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Their talisman Lionel Messi is yet to sign a new contract but, even if he does, he might not be able to be registered.
Messi’s deal expired at the end of last month and the Argentine is currently a free agent.
Barca president Joan Laporta gave an update on Messi’s situation earlier this week and is remaining calm.
“The player has always said he wants to stay on and we are making good progress with the negotiations,” he said.
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“[Rafa] Yuste and [Mateu] Alemany are working very hard. What we all want is for Messi to stay at Barca.
“To stay for a lot of years and play alongside such talented footballers as Depay.
“We are very satisfied with the attitude being shown by both parties, which an operation like this needs.
“Leo is on holiday right now, but he has a whole team working to get him a contract that suits everyone.”
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