FC Barcelona v Elche CF - La Liga Santander
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How Lionel Messi’s Barcelona exit could affect Wolves

It seems strange to speak about Lionel Messi and Wolverhampton Wanderers in the same sentence.

The shocking news last night that Messi’s contract at Barcelona will not be renewed has sent shockwaves across the world of football.

One of the first clubs who will surely feel the impact of this are Bruno Lage’s Wolves.

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Fans will know from the past two seasons that Wolves have become increasingly attracted to Barcelona players.

In 2020, Wolves broke their transfer record to sign right-back Nelson Semedo. This summer, Francisco Trincao arrived on a loan with an option to buy.

What does Messi’s departure mean?

One of the reasons Barcelona have had to sell in the past two windows was to accommodate Messi’s wages, reportedly at £38m per year.

Following the superstar’s exit, it could mean Barcelona are under less pressure to sell.

This means that players previously linked with Wolves, such as Martin Braithwaite and Ronald Araujo, may remain with la Blaugrana.

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On the other hand, the Catalan side still have severe financial hurdles to overcome.

After opposing investment from US company CVC in La Liga, Barcelona need to generate revenue. All this while trying to accommodate new signings such as Sergio Aguero and Memphis Depay.

Additionally, Barcelona have the major issue of replacing Messi’s goalscoring contributions.

What does this mean for Wolves?

If Barcelona continue to struggle to raise funds this summer, then it is likely that Wolves will continue to be linked to players such as Braithwaite and Araujo.

On the other hand, if they seek stability now, it may seriously alter Wolves’ transfer strategy for the last month of the window.

Wolves may be tempted to return to Portugal, where they have primarily recruited from under Fosun.

Alternatively, they may revisit the South American market, especially after the positive impact made by new signing Yerson Mosquera.

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Fosun said at the end of last season that this month is likely to be Wolves’ busiest of the transfer window. The departure of Messi from Barcelona is only going to keep them busier.