The 'captains' Sergio Busquets, Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba are set to follow in Piqué's footsteps
Joan Laporta's crusade against Barça's exorbitant wage bill shows no sign of waning. After reaching an agreement with Gerard Piqué, who accepted a significant wage cut that allowed the club to register Memphis Depay and Eric García before last weekend's league opener, the club is now on the verge of reaching a similar agreement with the other three first team 'captains': Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba and Sergi Roberto. The three academy graduates are very close to signing off on new deals, aware that they need to set an example to the rest of the squad in order to mitigate Barça's financial woes.
The wage cuts won't stop there. In fact, the president wants to get the entire first team squad to agree to wage cuts, besides those players who are already earning a salary that is in line with the current market. The four summer signings made to date - Memphis, Eric García, Sergio Aguero and Emerson Royal - fall into this second category. Once an agreement is made with the remaining three captains, Laporta will focus his attention on the two highest-earning players in the squad: Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho.
The French international, who was the squad's second highest earning player until Leo Messi left, has already indicated his willingness to to take a cut. However, to date, no negotiations have been held with the club. Coutinho is in a similar position, but he is in an awkward position because his current high salary is putting off potential suitors in this transfer window. The few teams who have shown an interest in him this summer, such as Arsenal, have already informed FC Barcelona that they would not be able to cover his entire salary were they to take him on loan. Whether he stays or heads out on loan, he will need to agree to a significant wage cut.
SPORT understands that the club will review the salaries of all first team players, as the club's current situation means it is unable to keep spending so much money on player wages. In fact, one of Laporta's main objectives is to establish a much more logical salary scale, in which the club will refrain from handing out new deals on a whim as it did under Bartomeu's presidency.