TRANSFER NEWS Alena sold to Getafe as Barcelona continue Messi fundraising mission July 10, 2021July 10, 2021 NBS NEWS BARCELONA The Catalan giants desperately need to raise funds if they want to keep the Argentine superstar, who is officially a free agent Barcelona have agreed a deal to sell Carles Alena to Getafe as they continue their desperate cost-cutting exercise in order to ensure they can sign Lionel Messi up to a new contract. La Liga salary cap regulations mean Barca are currently unable to register any of their new signings or agree a new deal with Messi, whose previous contract expired at the end of last month. As a result the club are desperately looking to move players on to both raise funds and reduce the wage bill, with Alena the latest player out of the door. What was said? In a statement confirming the deal, Barca said: “FC Barcelona and Getafe CF have reached an agreement for the transfer of Carles Alena. “Barca reserve the right to 50 per cent of any future sale of the player, a buy-back option, plus first right of refusal on any offer. “FC Barcelona would like to thank Carles Alena for his commitment and dedication and wishes him all the best for the future.” The 23-year-old, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Getafe, has signed a five-year deal with the club. The La Masia graduate made 44 appearances in all competitions over five years for Barca, having previously been a regular for their B side. The bigger picture Though the finances involved in the Alena deal are likely to be relatively minor, every little helps for Barca as they desperately scramble to comply with the salary cap. As things stand, they are currently unable to agree a deal with Messi that is in both line with his expectations and complies with the regulations. Even summer signings Eric Garcia, Memphis Depay, Emerson and Sergio Aguero cannot yet be registered with the club before a number of other first-team players are moved on. One of those new signings, Depay, has already agreed a 30 per cent pay cut on his salary to help the club balance the books. Goal understands Messi intends to remain at Camp Nou and is eager to sign a new two-year contract with the club, but Barca need to sell more players in order for that to happen. It has also been revealed that the Liga giants are €1.2 billion (£1.1b/$1.5b) in debt, which is making life difficult when it comes to negotiating new contracts and getting fresh faces on board. Alena follows Francisco Trincao, Junior Firpo, Jean-Clair Todibo, Konrad de la Fuente and Matheus Fernandes out of the Barca exit door. However, it is only when some of the highest earners, such as Antoine Griezmann, Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele and Samuel Umtiti, move on that the club can make a serious dent in their finances. Current estimations are that they need to clear €200m (£172m/$237m) from their wage bill, meaning Alena is unlikely to be the last player moved on from Camp Nou in the coming weeks.