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Barcelona hoping Pique, Alba & Busquets exits help ongoing salary problems

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Barcelona vice-president Eduard Romeu has admitted that the club will continue to financially struggle until veteran trio Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets leave the club, hinting all three will go when their existing contracts expire.

Busquets is due to become a free agent at the end of this season, while Pique and Alba have deals until 2024. Between them, the trio have made 1,731 appearances for the club during 38 years of combined service, more if you count their respective years in La Masia.

But Barça are still trying to put their financial woes behind them and appear to be counting down the days until they can get the veteran trio off the wage bill.

“What throws us off is the amount we spend on our player salaries,” Romeu said this week.

Referring specifically to Pique, Alba and Busquets, he added, “There are a group of [contracts] that have a very important cost and between this season and the next they will disappear.”

Barça spent heavily in the summer transfer window on a squad overhaul, but still had to activate a number of economic ‘levers’ to allow them register all of their new arrivals and contract renewals.

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The situation is getting better following years of financial mismanagement, but Romeu, the senior official in charge of club economics, explained only last month that spending still has to be tightly controlled over the next few years.

“We have saved Barça, but we still haven’t resolved it,” he explained. “We don’t have it healthy; it involves a lot of austerity, a lot of rigour and there is a lot of work to do. In the 2024/25 season we will be at the level that corresponds to us.”

Barça have started exploring ways to sign Camp Nou icon Lionel Messi, although Romeu has also previously confirmed they will only be able to do it if he is a free agent. However, he more recently stated that his department knows ‘how to make miracles happen’ and appears confident.

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