If Lionel Messi moves from Barcelona to Manchester City the knock-on effect could be significant for a number of clubs. Liverpool will need to brace themselves for a raid on the squad by the Catalan giants. Ronald Koeman, the new Barca coach, has already put Georginio Wijnaldum high on his wish list. The 29-year-old is in the final year of his contract at Anfield and is not expected to extend his deal. Koeman knows the midfielder well from his time in charge of Holland and sees Wijnaldum as someone who can add energy and discipline for Barcelona. It may not stop there. The departure of Messi would signal a change of strategy at the Nou Camp. For more than a decade, the team has been built around one man. Everything was designed to suit the Argentinian. That made sense because Messi was – and remains – the best player in the world. Barcelona’s future is likely to be less focused on individuals and more on a team ethic. Koeman wants to do things the Liverpool way. Jurgen Klopp’s side has many fine components but does not contain a genuine galactico. It is a unit that is greater than the sum of its parts. That is the opposite of Barcelona. Koeman is also keen on Virgil van Dijk. The centre back has three years left on his contract but the 29-year-old is reaching the sort of age when players start thinking about the final big move of their career. There is no indication that Van Dijk is unsettled but Barcelona have a way of turning people’s heads. Even if Messi stays, the Catalan club will embark on a programme of rebuilding that will send tremors across European football. Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, Arturo Vidal and Samuel Umtiti have been told they are not wanted and Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba were absent from the list of “untransferables” offered up by Josep Maria Bartomeu, the president. Lack of Anfield crowd the biggest plus point for Liverpool’s rivals next term The clear-out is intended to reduce the wage bill significantly – salaries are approaching €400 million (US$476 million) per year – and although Barca believe they will be able to demand a fee for some of their discards, the economic conditions in the Coronavirus-hit environment mean it is not a seller’s market. Knowing how desperate Barcelona are to offload players, most clubs will sit tight and hope they can get their man on the cheap. Gloating over the La Liga club’s plight is a dangerous business, though. Barca’s revenue last year was €840.8 million, a figure that allowed them to leapfrog Real Madrid at the top of football’s rich list. They earned 10 per cent more than Real. The ability to generate so much cash will not depart with Messi. They will soon be flexing their muscles in the transfer market and Barcelona have the fiscal power that allows them to bully most other clubs. Only City, Manchester United, Real and Paris Saint-Germain can be confident that Barca cannot use their bankroll to push them around. The other superclubs – even Liverpool and Bayern Munich – operate in a different financial stratum. Barcelona’s history, location and glamour add to the lustre of the club. Many South American players grow up dreaming of playing in the Nou Camp, where the language, culture and climate are often more in tune with their experience than somewhere like Merseyside or Manchester. Liverpool know all about the lure of Catalonia. Philippe Coutinho was seduced as soon as Barca communicated their interest to him three years ago and it was inevitable that he would leave Anfield right from that moment. The Brazilian put in a transfer request and Fenway Sports Group responded with a statement saying he would remain at the club and would not be sold during the summer transfer window. Liverpool’s owners kept their word. Coutinho was still there when the window shut but the player was unsettled and disruptive. As soon as the January sales period opened, he was heading to Catalonia. Things did not work out for Coutinho initially but he is likely to get another chance at the Nou Camp next season after picking up a Champions League-winners’ medal this month while on loan to Bayern. The fear for Liverpool is that Barcelona will again come sniffing around the squad. EPL new boys Leeds face champions Liverpool on opening weekend That trepidation is not exclusive to Anfield but Klopp’s side has a number of men who are reaching the point where they start looking for that last big payday. Sadio Mane, 28, has already attracted covetous glances from Real – Zinedine Zidane is a huge admirer – and the Senegalese is equally highly regarded at Barca. Mo Salah is the same age as Mane and would create at least as much attention. One of the problems that comes with success is it puts players in the shop window. Fabinho will be 27 in October and has the look of someone who would thrive in La Liga. At some point one of Spain’s big two will probably make an approach towards Trent Alexander-Arnold to see how the 21-year-old Scouser responds. More than half of Klopp’s preferred starters would improve Barcelona. Koeman knows this. The former Everton manager might finally be able to inflict some damage on Liverpool from Catalonia. He was unable to land a blow on Klopp’s team during his time at Goodison. When a superstar like Messi changes clubs there is always a furry of activity. Barcelona will not want to lose face. The chequebook will soon be out. On Merseyside they are watching events with interest. City’s gain could lead to Liverpool’s loss if Koeman decides to try and plunder Anfield.