The aftermath of Lionel Messi's shocking departure from Barcelona has left his former teammates reeling.
The Argentine's legendary 21-year career in Spain came to an abrupt end last Thursday as the club announced his departure.
The 34-year-old has since penned a big bucks two-year deal with Paris Saint-Germain, leaving Barca in disarray ahead of the new La Liga season.
Club president Joan Laporta has blamed La Liga for refusing to sanction Messi's new contract but has come under fire himself for the loss of Barca's superstar.
The fallout looks set to rumble on as the entire club tries to cope in the wake of Messi's departure.
According to a new report from The Athletic, the situation has unsurprisingly taken its toll on the dressing room.
The squad reportedly still believed that Messi would stay right up until the bombshell statement which rocked the world last Thursday.
“There are a lot of angry people, and they are angry for different reasons,” says a source close to a senior player. “Maybe some are right, maybe some are wrong. Every situation is different.
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“Neto wants to go. (Philippe) Coutinho feels like s***. (Miralem) Pjanic feels defrauded. Jordi Alba is on a crazy long-term contract.
“Maybe it is the fault of the old management, who were throwing money everywhere, but this situation was always around since they (Laporta and the new board) won the election (in March).”
Laporta is still desperately trying to slash the club's wage bill, whilst many stars are more than aware that Barca have been attempting to offload them this summer with the new season on the horizon.
The club's debt has reportedly risen to £1.1b following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Even with the departure of top-earner Messi, Barca still need to bring their wage bill down to £170m this summer – a massive cut from last year's figure of £570m.
It's a situation that has left Barca's summer signings in limbo.
The Catalan giants have snapped up Sergio Aguero, Memphis Depay, Eric Garcia and Emerson Royale, but they have been unable to register them with La Liga.
There have already been rumblings of Aguero wanting out in the wake of Messi's departure.
The ex-Manchester City striker is set for a spell on the sidelines with a calf injury.
Messi played a big part in luring his Argentina teammate to the Nou Camp, with the same report from The Athletic casting doubt on Aguero's future in Spain.
“It does not make sense now for Aguero to be there,” says a source.
“He was a good tactical signing to make if Messi was always going to stay. Now he looks in a strange situation, and he is injured, and he is going to feel very lonely in the locker room now.”
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