Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has revealed a list of players who won’t be leaving the club this summer, as the club prepares for a mass exodus.
Wholesale changes are expected in Catalonia following a dismal 2019/20 campaign which saw them sack two managers, lose out on the La Liga title to Real Madrid and exit Europe in the most humiliating fashion to Bayern Munich at the quarter-final stage.
Plenty of stars are expected to depart Camp Nou this summer, and Bartomeu – talking to the club’s official website (via Mundo Deportivo) – has announced a list of players who’ll remain in Catalunya.
“Leo Messi and many other players. It would be a cliché to just say Leo Messi. Messi is the best player in history but there are other non-transferable ones. There are many young players. Ter Stegen, Lenglet, De Jong, Semedo, Dembélé, Griezmann.
“They are players who we count on a lot and who have come to spend many years at Barça.”
Bartomeu also hinted that Philippe Coutinho could have a future at the club after all, insisting the decision will be made by the club’s new technical secretary and Ronald Koeman, who will shortly be announced as the club’s new head coach.
Regarding Ter Stegen – who endured a disastrous night in the recent 8-2 rout – Bartomeu added: “I am optimistic [over a new contract]. Today they have operated on him and he is a professional. He is a great person. His renewal stopped because he said it was not the time due to the pandemic but Ter Stegen will continue for many years at Barça”.
However, one situation to keep an eye on is that of Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan wasn’t a part of the president’s ‘non-transferable’ list and Fabrizio Romano reports the striker could leave the club this summer if Barça receive an ‘important bid’.
Ajax are said to be one of the clubs interested in acquiring the 33-year-old’s services.
There’s been plenty of talk regarding potential contract terminations of veteran players in the aftermath of the Bayern defeat, to which Bartomeu added: “This planning that will be done from now on with the coach and the technical secretary. If there are names, that there will be, they will be told.
“Some of them already know it because they have been spoken to in recent times. A conversation will be held with the players to explain their situation.”