Barcelona’s astronomical transfer outlay of £508m to find Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez strike partner including Coutinho – The Sun

CRISTIANO RONALDO, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema. Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino. Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and…

The most-lethal front-lines in the world rely on having three world-class players.

An elite trio must capable of scoring, assisting and – most-importantly – seamlessly switching positions to keep the defence baffled.

Barcelona do not have that.

Lionel Messi is arguably the best player in the world, while Luis Suarez is a top-level scorer whose ability to assist is wildly underrated.

But then there's that troublesome third spot… who fills it?

Well, since the signing of Suarez, Barcelona have spent a staggering £508million trying to answer that question.

The LaLiga giants have targeted Inter Milan star Lautaro Martinez to finally be the man to fill the void this summer.

They also have youth team product Ansu Fati on their books as he continues his rapid rise in the footballing world.

But do either have what it takes to thrive at the Nou Camp or will they be another Ousmane Dembele, Malcom or even Philippe Coutinho?

We've taken a look at where Barcelona have wasted their money in recent years with a series of flop purchases…


TURAN was the first man tasked with being that much-needed third wheel when he was signed from Atletico Madrid in a £32m deal in 2015.

But the Turkish ace scored just 15 goals in 55 games before spending the entire 2017-18 season on the bench – failing to play a single match.

Turan was loaned to Istanbul Basaksehir for two years, with the Turkish side even terminating the deal six months early.


AFTER shining at Valencia, Barcelona expected big things of £27m buy Alcacer.

But he managed just 15 goals in 50 matches before being loaned – and then sold permanently – to Borussia Dortmund.


THE first of three very expensive mistakes in their recent history, Dembele cost £135m when brought in from Dortmund to replace Neymar.

To this day, though, he's scored just 19 goals in 74 appearances in nearly three seasons – with injuries sorely hampering his progress.

Dembele is widely expected to be sold this summer.


THE now-Watford man was brought back from Everton in a bargain £11m deal.

But he scored just twice in 17 matches before being loaned to Watford, with the Hornets later making the deal permanent.


A SHINING light at Liverpool, Coutinho was expected to finally be the man to fill the void for Barcelona in a jaw-dropping £142m move.

But, having now spent over two years on the books at the Nou Camp, the "Little Magician" has managed just 21 goals in 76 games.

Coutinho was loaned to Bayern Munich for the 2019-20 season, with the Germans suggesting they won't sign him permanently in the summer.

The likes of Chelsea are interested in a move for Coutinho, but one thing is for sure: he won't be a Barca player next season.


A REAL hot prospect at Bordeaux, the youngster attracted the attention of seemingly all of Europe's top clubs, with Barcelona winning the race to sign him in a £37m swoop.

But in one horrendous season, the Brazilian scored just four goals in 24 games and looked well out of his depth before being sold to Zenit St-Petersburg.


A JOURNEYMAN who had spent time at Tottenham, Portsmouth, AC Milan and Sassuolo amongst many, many others, Boateng was a shock loan signing in 2019.

Fortunately it was just a loan though, as the former Ghana international scored precisely no goals in just four games before joining Fiorentina that summer.


FINALLY, Barcelona decided to sign a true, tried-and-tested, LaLiga-ready star to complete their front three.

After years at Atletico Madrid, Barca were certain Griezmann would be the man to finally fill the gaping hole.

But so far this season, following his £108m move, the Frenchman has scored a mere 14 goals in 37 games – while looking a shadow of his former self.


IN one of the most bizarre transfers in recent history anywhere in world football, Barcelona signed ex-Middlesbrough flop Braithwaite in a £16m deal.

Braithwaite had only just joined Leganes from Boro when Barcelona came knocking.

And he wasn't worth the hassle, having failed to score in just three games before the lockdown.

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