Is it true that Barca had the chance to sign Asensio for 4 m €, but wanted to pay it in installments, so Real jumped in and bought him outright? Would be another example of tremendous stupidity, even a blind man could see this kid has serious talent.
Yes. it's true. Laughable that they would do something like that. Such a bargain for a player with all this talent.
And the cracks have been showing in Barcelona's squad since Guardiola left. They had their dominant run in 2009-11 but they have been on a continuous decline for the past 5 years. First Guardiola left, then they continued relying on the same players without planning for the future and now they're seeing the aftereffects. Xavi and Puyol gone, Iniesta on his last legs, Messi, Pique and Busquets getting older, neglecting their academy products and getting further away from the philosophy that made them the top team. The first signs were there when Bayern embarrassed them 7-0 in 2013. But then they got a few good signings like Neymar, Suarez and Rakitic which led to the treble when their front three were on fire for a year. But halfway through Enrique's second season, they started running out of steam and this summer has been hardly kind to them. Neymar just suddenly leaving and they have no plan B as he was supposed to be the heir to Messi. The window is closing and they are in danger of having another bad season. It also hasn't helped at all that they've signed so many flops in the past few years. Word is that Messi hasn't even re-signed a new contract and only had a "verbal agreement". If the board stays, it wouldn't be a surprise if he decided that he's had enough and leave completely. It's a bad state that will take a few years to completely recover from and Messi will not get any younger so maybe he'd rather spent his last few years at top level in a squad matching his talent rather than wasting it away in Barcelona rebuilding the team.
Does Messi even need to sign a new contract? It feels like Messi and Ronaldo have been renewing their contracts every few weeks for a raise in the last few years.
But yeah, agree with anything else. I thought after the 7-0 demolition their time was up for a while, but the brilliance of MSN was a second wind for them.