Barcelona eye €40m exchange deal to prep for Messi’s departure

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (R) of AC Milan. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (R) of AC Milan. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images) /

The latest Barcelona match against Paris Saint-Germain made convincing Lionel Messi to stay an even tougher task. The Argentine wants to win trophies and if the club cannot sustain his huge wages, they could at least try to win some silverware. However, after a loss against Sevilla in the Copa del Rey and a 4-1 thrashing in the UEFA Champions League against PSG, it seems like the Catalans might have to go trophyless for one more season.

More from Everything Barca

Should the Catalans go trophyless for the second season in a row, the Argentine superstar will surely leave the club. Thus Barcelona must try and look for his replacement from now itself as they will surely be at a loss of direction without his replacement. According to PianetaMilan, the Spanish giants have already recognized their target to replace the veteran.

The one that Barcelona deems as suitable enough to replace the six times Ballon d’Or winner is AC Milan’s winger, Rafael Leao. The 21-year-old Portuguese winger has quickly become one of Milan’s starters and has already scored five goals in 15 league starts.

He has also given five assists in the league so far. He is quite fast and is physically strong as well. However, his quick feet and incredible dribbling makes him stand out. Should he ever reach the levels of Messi, he will have an advantage over the Argentine due to his height which allows him to be quite useful in the air as well.

The deal, however, will be a bit complicated. Barcelona at the moment do not have much of a transfer budget, in fact, they are in huge debt and they need to sell players and not buy more. Milan has put a 40 million euros price tag on the player in order to protect him from other elite clubs and they will not accept any bid below the price tag. The Italians are also content on waiting to see if the player himself materializes into one of the best thus there is no hurry from their side.

The Catalan kings must find a way to bring him in next season as Messi will most likely leave at the end of this season. One way in which they can bring in the Portuguese is by offering a swap deal with fellow countryman, Francisco Trincao. The former Braga player has not performed his best at the Camp Nou and they will happily offer him for a swap with Leao. We must wait and see how things progress but for now, at least Barcelona are exploring their options and if nothing works out, they always have their youth academy to fall back on.

Next. Would 2009 Barcelona beat 2021 Bayern Munich?. dark

Do you want Barca to swap Trincao with Rafael?