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Can Barcelona afford to keep Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez for another season?

Regardless of all the recent speculation regarding Messi being closer than ever to leaving, the No.10's roots run deep in Catalonia, and it is a good sign for Barcelona fans to see that his fellow forwards are looking to do the same

Can Barcelona afford to keep Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez for another season?
Can Barcelona afford to keep Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez for another season?

Regardless of all the recent speculation regarding Messi being closer than ever to leaving, the No.10's roots run deep in Catalonia, and it is a good sign for Barcelona fans to see that his fellow forwards are looking to do the same

Neymar trident

| Getty Images #499043422

Barcelona’s front three of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez are not only working together on the field, but are planning on strengthening their relationship off it as well. 

Messi is in the process of obtaining another house close to his residence in Castelldefels, which also happens to be the same area that Luis Suarez is building a new property. Neymar, meanwhile, is reportedly actively searching to set up a place to call his own. This property would most likely be in the Gava Mar area, which is located not too far from Castelldefels. 

Regardless of all the recent speculation regarding Messi being closer than ever to leaving, the No.10's roots run deep in Catalonia, and it is a good sign for Barcelona fans to see that his fellow forwards are looking to do the same.

Whether it’s Messi to Manchester City or Neymar to Manchester United, PSG or even Real Madrid, the rumor mills continue to churn out the speculation surrounding one of the greatest players to ever lace up a pair of boots and a player who looks almost certain to become an all-time great as well, if he isn’t already. 

Success breeds speculation, and of course a player in Neymar’s form will garner plenty of attention, as any team that could potentially pay his large release fee clause will try to entice him away from Barcelona.

The thing that Barcelona fans can relish in is that even though the Premier League teams are sitting on some newfound television money, Barcelona brass can still compete with them and have an upper hand in retaining their own players. In addition, Messi, Suarez and Neymar hold release clauses of €250, €200 and €190 million respectively, which can scare off teams with even the deepest of pockets.

At the LFP awards, Neymar’s father reportedly said that there is no rush on renewing his deal because it still has almost three years left, but the desire is to do so with Barcelona. It is no secret that Neymar is the biggest piece of the Barcelona post-Messi puzzle, a situation that the Blaugrana decision-makers hope to not find themselves in anytime soon, as their target must be to get Messi to renew his current deal, expiring in July 2018.

The problem that Luis Enrique has in coaxing another forward to come to town to back-up the front three of Messi, Neymar and Suarez is obviously a good problem to have. 

The attacking strike-force from South America are all still under 30, and so it is easily conceived that they are both the present and the future of the Catalan giants. 

Maybe Barcelona won’t be able to splash big cash on reinforcements in other areas of the field, but if the academy can help cushion the blow of eventually losing the ageing Andres Iniesta, keeping the front three together should continue to be the priority. Nevertheless, in the short-term, if Sandro Ramirez and Munir El Haddadi can translate their goals against Villanovense into La Liga success, Luis Enrique may not have to ask for attacking reinforcements come January.

That said, having a frontline that costs as much as MSN could create some problems throughout the rest of the squad. As previously stated, there will be great pressure on the academy to replace the likes of Iniesta in the middle of the park. Replacing one of the all-time greats will be difficult without bringing in an outside force, and while Sergi Roberto and Sergi Samper have been good complements, they are quite different players and will most likely never reach the heights that Iniesta has.

The defense may be even more challenging to supplement. Javier Mascherano isn’t getting any younger, and Marc Bartra has not yet been trusted as the first-choice man at the back that he was once expected to be.

Just this week, Barcelona have again been linked with Everton’s John Stones and Athletic Bilbao’s Aymeric Laporte, but if management will continue to give the front three higher and higher wages, bringing in expensive younger players will get tougher. Eventually, the club may need to look at finding a cheaper option for Luis Suarez so that they can reinforce the rest of the squad.

For now, however, having the best front three in the world should be enjoyed by all Cules. Any problems regarding the wages of the three world-class forwards in the MSN trident will be looked at down the road. 

If Barcelona can find affordable ways to add quality to their midfield and defense as their regulars get older, the Blaugranas' domination in all competitions can certainly continue into the next generation.

By Dan Hilton, columnist at Barcablog. Follow him on Twitter @HiltonD13