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Barcelona to offer Chelsea star striker in effort to raise funds for Lionel Messi deal

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Debt-ridden Barcelona will go to desperate measures to raise funds in order to tie Lionel Messi to a new long-term contract.

The debt-ridden Catalan giants have already begun their summer recruitment drive with Sergio Aguero having joined from Mancehster City, and Memphis Depay signing from Lyon.

Such is the chaos at Camp Nou, however, that the arrivals may be prevented from representing their new club until they drastically reduce an astronomical wage bill.

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Of even more concern, meanwhile, is the future of Messi, with the club’s talisman technically a free agent after his contract expired at the start of July.

In an attempt to free up enough cash to offer their record goalscorer a contract worthy of his status, squad players are quickly being moved on. Junior Firpo is set to join Leeds, Francisco Trincao is moving to Wolves, while Konrad De La Fuente Jean Claire-Todibo and Matheus Fernandes have all departed

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Those departures represent just a drop in the ocean, however, and Barcelona must contemplated parting with bigger names including the likes of Samuel Umtiti, Philippe Coutinho and Miralem Pjanic.

According to the Daily Star, Antoine Griezmann is also up for sale and Chelsea will be kept informed of developments.

The France international has struggled to hit the heights he regularly did with Atletico Madrid since his £107million move two years ago and his £294,000-a-week wages represent an enormous burden.

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Chelsea are looking to build on last season’s dramatic improvement under Thomas Tuchel which culminated in an unlikely Champions League triumph.

A new forward is said to be a priority and with their efforts to re-sign Romelu Lukaku looking likely to fail and Borussia Dortmund unwilling to lose Erling Haaland in the same window as Jadon Sancho, Griezmann represents an intriguing option.

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