Barcelona eventually finished second in La Liga, rising from ninth, as Xavi found the club when he returned to replace Ronald Koeman as coach in November. Subsequent eliminations from the King’s Cup and European League That means a second season in three years without a trophy.
“A lot of things have to be changed to try to be more competitive and fight for trophies,” Xavi added. “We cannot have another empty year. Too many changes are needed. We have to improve and consolidate.”
Some of this planning has been well advanced. Deals were agreed to sign free agents Andreas Christensen From Chelsea And Frank Casey from AC Milanwhile other targets have been identified, including Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski and Leeds United‘s Ravenha.
Choosing which players to sign is the easy part – but figuring out how they can afford them is very difficult. Barcelona’s €1 billion debt and La Liga salary cap regulations mean they can’t even sign Christensen or Casey until they once again clear the wage bill.
There has been some progress made by Barcelona sporting director Matteo Alemani, technical secretary Jordi Cruyff, and club president Joan Laporta. Philip Coutinho Already joined Aston Villa In exit at a reduced price, while Luke de Jong returns to Seville After a loan spell. There is no confirmation of new deals yet for Dani Alves, 39, or long-injured companion player Sergi Roberto. Xavi would like Ousmane Dembele to re-sign, but France The international is still considering his options.
The Camp Nou’s dressing room is still full of players that Xavi doesn’t want to use, but doesn’t want to leave. Between coming and going, Barcelona could have a 20-player turnaround this summer. For Xavi to get the team he really wants, the team that can really challenge for the best titles next season, here’s the squad the club really needs to get going as quickly as possible.
Neto has spent three seasons as a reserve for first-choice goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, making just 21 appearances since joining from Valencia for €26 million in 2019.
The 32-year-old Brazil international left Barcelona 12 months ago, but no attractive offers have been received. This year the Catalan press claimed it Everton And Aston Villa may be interested, while he was linked with Flamengo in January.
Returning to his home country might make more sense at this point. But with two years remaining on his contract, Barcelona will probably have to pay him a significant sum to make it happen.
Ronald Koeman trusted Dest during his time as coach, but Xavi was less convinced of the USA international, that he rehired old teammate Alves to play at right-back instead.
Barcelona want to get back the €25 million they paid Ajax to sign Dest in 2020. The 21-year-old has been on Chelsea’s radar since the start of the year, although he’s not at the top of the list. Seville and Bayern Munich were also mentioned as possible destinations.
Dest himself will need to be persuaded to leave, like many of his teammates. He loves life in the Catalan capital, and he started building a house in the seaside resort of Sitges last January.
Barcelona have been trying to move Umtiti for most of the past four years, since playing through a knee injury to help France win in 2018. world Cup.
But no team has come close to matching the terms of the bountiful deal the defender signed just before that tournament in Russia. That contract was extended last January until June 2026, but that was just an accounting maneuver to enable Barcelona to score a winter deal with Ferran Torres.
A brave side might take the 28-year-old on loan, but whatever happens, Barcelona will remain in limbo over his salary. At some point they will definitely have to bite the bullet and pay him to leave.
Lenglet spent two decent seasons at Barcelona after arriving from Sevilla for €36m in 2018, but his level and confidence have fizzled out over the past two years – as evidenced by his waiving of a series of ridiculous penalties.
Lenglet is still only 26 years old, and suitors shouldn’t be lacking to help him get back to his former level. TottenhamAnd the NewcastleEverton and Arsenal They have all been linked to the France international in the Catalan press.
Once again there is the issue of a contract that runs until 2026 and Barcelona will do a good job of getting back anything close to what they paid for. So a 12-month loan in which his salary is fully covered – allowing Barcelona to sign Christensen for free – might be a suitable option.
Mingueza, produced by La Masia, played 27 games in total last season, mostly before Xavi replaced Koeman in the dugout. He knows he’s not in the manager’s plans for next season, and he doesn’t have big wages that would motivate him to stay put.
The 23-year-old’s versatility means he shouldn’t be short on La Liga suitors. Getafe and Valencia are aware of their situation, and need two defenders this summer, although it is unlikely that either of them will meet the €10m Barca’s fee.
Ricky Puig has found great fame with many Blaugrana fans and critics, but to a lesser extent with the coaches, as younger playmakers such as Pedri and Jaffe have outgrown him to the usual first-team positions.
Xavi also made it clear that the 22-year-old La Masia graduate is not in his plans. With only a year left on his contract, it may be loaned out, but selling for a small fee with a buyback option would make more sense.
Real Betis and Celta Vigo have looked at him in the past, while Valencia have been linked this week.
Summer 2020 exchange deal with Juventus The involvement of Pjanic and Arthur Milo remains emblematic of the financial “maneuvers” by Josep Maria Bartomeu’s board that have left the club in such a disastrous state.
After a season at the Camp Nou, the Bosnia and Herzegovina player played 26 matches on loan at Besiktas during 2021-22, although he last completed the 90 minutes in February.
Inter Milan and Napoli may now want the 32-year-old back Italian Serie Abut is unlikely to match his current contract salary, which still has two profitable years in a row.
“At the moment I can see myself staying for another two years in Barcelona and ending my contract,” Pjanic said last week. “We’ll see. Never get too hard.”
Frenkie de Jong
De Jong’s condition is different from most others in this squad, primarily as Barcelona believe other clubs will offer them big money to sign him.
This is why some at Camp Nou are interested in the idea of the 25-year-old Dutchman moving to it Manchester United, if Old Trafford were to pay the roughly 86 million euros it cost him when Bartomeu was president. Xavi would like him to stay, but agreed that some sacrifices were required given the financial situation.
De Jong, while on international duty this week, said he “doesn’t believe” Barcelona and United have reached an agreement on his transfer, adding “I would prefer to stay with Barcelona”.
Barcelona were already in a deep financial mess when they paid €31m to Trincao in January 2020. They wanted to sell him last summer, but had to send him on loan to Wolverhampton Wanderers While that.
After Barcelona loaned Adama Traore from Wolverhampton in January, there was speculation that the deal would become permanent this summer, with Trinkau long staying at Molino and both players valued at around €30m.
Laporta said last week that this could still happen, although the president admitted that these exchange deals don’t really help the club deal with La Liga salary cap rules. Wolves may also not want to spend a lot on a player who has scored two goals and made one in 28 Premier League matches last season.
Ex-Sporting Lisbon club Trincao are interested in bringing him back on loan, but that would not be attractive to Barcelona.
Braithwaite is another person who has been told he is not in Xavi’s plans. After returning from injury in January, the Denmark international had just 10 minutes of game time during the second half of the season.
Barcelona are hoping that Braithwaite will want to have time to play before the World Cup in November, and that they accept a fee of around half the €18 million they paid him in early 2020.
but, After carefully charting his entire career path to reach the Camp NouBraithwaite still feels he can convince Xavi to give him a chance.
“I’m enjoying myself a lot in Barcelona,” he told Danish newspaper Bold this week. “I haven’t played much, but we have a good coach and I know I’ll probably have a chance if I’m out there and keep working hard.”
Depay has had a season up and down after arriving on a free transfer from Lyon last summer, and 13 goals in 38 games in all competitions is not enough for the Barcelona primary striker.
The Dutchman’s case has not helped link up with former club figures Koeman and Bartomeu, while the current regime brought in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January, and is now trying to get Lewandowski and Ravenha.
Depay has only 12 months left on a two-year deal he signed last year, so this summer is Barcelona’s only chance to get a fee for him.
“I feel at home in Barcelona, and I expect to be back there again for the new season,” he told Dutch newspaper NOS while on international duty this week.
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