Barcelona They could depart this summer
Josep Maria Bartomeu surprisingly opted to declare a list of players who are not up for sale in the current Barcelona squad when speaking to the club’s media, which inevitably generated a whole host of players who are now being guided towards the exit door.
According to Bartomeu himself, the eight players Barcelona do not want to lose this summer are: Lionel Messi, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Nelson Semedo, Clement Lenglet, Frenkie de Jong, Ousmane Dembele, Antoine Griezmann and Ansu Fati.
The Barcelona president therefore implied that there are several heavyweights in the squad who the club would happily move on from.
Among these, there are some club legends, such as Jordi Alba, Gerard Pique, Sergi Roberto, Sergio Busquets and Luis Suarez, as well as the likes of Arturo Vidal, Ivan Rakitic and Samuel Umtiti.
It will not be an easy task to move them on, though, particularly with many of these older players having very large salaries.
That is if the players are willing to leave, too.
For example, in the case of Sergi Roberto and Busquets, neither of them seem willing to depart the Camp Nou this summer.
The left-back has a contract at the club until 2024, so it’s difficult to see him leaving in this upcoming transfer window.
Alba‘s release clause is 500 million euros too, so there would have to be some willingness on the part of the player to want to go.
If not, Barcelona will have to be faithful to the contract they extended just one year ago.
The centre-back does seem to be in the business of making things easy for the club.
Pique always said that Barcelona would be the last club in his career, and while he has no intention of playing for another team, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he had offers come in from some of Europe’s biggest sides.
After all, Pique has been Barcelona‘s best defender this season.
Despite his versatility, Sergi Roberto didn’t make Bartomeu‘s untouchables list.
It should not be difficult for him to find a new team, but he has always wanted to stay at Barcelona, even when he had offers to leave.
According to his agent, he has no intention of leaving now.
The midfielder has come in for a lot of criticism in the last couple of seasons, with some attributing the team’s regression to his drop in performances.
Busquets is a player that is perfect for a certain type of system, the one Barcelona used to play, so there are only a few clubs in the world that he would be ideal for.
If the idea is that the team will be running up and down the whole game, Busquets is not the right man.
The Uruguayan has been one of the best strikers in Barcelona‘s history, but his decline has been evident for several seasons now.
He has a very high salary and, on a personal level, he’s comfortable living in Catalonia.
Suarez only has one year left on his contract, which could be renewed automatically depending on how many games he plays at the Camp Nou next season.
He is one of the players Barcelona want to move on from as they look to try and sign Lautaro Martinez, who would help rejuvenate their attack.
Ajax, the second team Suarez played for in Europe, have taken an interest in his situation, but the 33-year-old would have to significantly reduce his wage demands if is to return to the Netherlands.
The Chilean’s time at the Blaugrana seems to be coming to an end after not making Bartomeu‘s list.
He has a good reputation, so it shouldn’t be hard to find a new team for him.
Mind you, it remains to be seen what new coach Ronald Koeman thinks of him.
The Croatian’s contract at the Camp Nou comes to an end next summer and everything points to him leaving in this window.
Sevilla are determined to bring Rakitic back to the club and there shouldn’t be too many problems in them doing so.
The Frenchman has become a problem for Barcelona.
Umtiti wants to stay in Catalonia and the club want him to leave, given his tendency to get injured.
The problem is that, precisely because of the injury problems, no offers have come in for him. His contract ends in 2023.