The January transfer window is just around the corner and once again, it’s looking to be quite a busy one for Barcelona. We know that the Catalans are in a dire financial situation but for that exact reason, they will look to sell players in order to buy.
And according to the latest report from Mundo Deportivo, Ronald Koeman already has a chopping list that includes players he doesn’t want in the squad. The outlet mentions the likes of Ousmane Dembélé, Martin Braithwaite, Carles Aleñá and Junior Firpo as the biggest candidates for departing the club.
Of course, Samuel Umtiti is also on the list but Barcelona are still having issues finding a bidder for the Frenchman. On the other hand, the future of Riqui Puig is also shrouded in mystery. The youngster is adamant on staying but Koeman doesn’t seem to like the La Masia gem that much, at least if his game time is any proof of that at all. Still, the paper labels him as untransferrable at the moment.
The other side of the coin is quite clear as well. If they manage to sell the aforementioned players, or at least some of them, Barcelona will go back in for both Memphis Depay and Eric García. Koeman wants another forward and another defender for his team so those two are still the priorities in the market.
Both of their contracts are also expiring so this is a deal that could be sealed either for a low sum or completely for free, depending on whether they arrive in January or in the summer.
Leaked conversation between Piqué and Alba on Cup final: “I don’t know if we will win”
Barcelona’s bitter El Clasico defeat to rivals Real Madrid was followed by a rather glum-sounding conversation between defenders Jordi Alba and Gerard Pique. The Deportes Cuatro cameras captured the two veterans talking about their upcoming cup final with polarizing views about their chances of winning.
Historically speaking, an El Clasico defeat is often damaging to morale, which may lead to a string of poor results. Especially in an encounter as crucial as this one, which could have handed Barcelona control of the La Liga title race, a loss is even harder to stomach.
Real Madrid and La Liga aside however, Barcelona must now turn their attention to the Copa del Rey final on Saturday against Athletic Bilbao. The Basques have already prevailed once over the Catalans in a cup final this year, beating them to the Spanish Supercup in a tight encounter.
Jordi Alba and Gerard Pique’s interaction after the Clasico however, was rather interesting. The latter seemed optimistic about Barcelona’s chances of securing their first title of the season. Alba however, was not so convinced.
“We’ll win this cup, for sure,” said Pique to Alba, to which the left-back responded: “I don’t know.”
A puzzled Pique confrontationally asked what he meant, as Alba responded: “I’m just saying, I don’t know.”
The biggest merit of Ronald Koeman in his first spell with Barcelona has been his ability to instill a winning mentality within the squad. There has been more belief that the team can fight and win under tough circumstances, which has largely been lacking in the past few years.
No matter how difficult this Clasico defeat is to swallow, the Blaugrana must put those doubts to bed before their cup final and approach it with full optimism and confidence.