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Barcelona sporting director says first task at club is ‘player sales’

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The rumour mill is abuzz with speculations as we get closer and closer to the January transfer window. Barcelona, going through a lean patch on the field, are in the market for reinforcements in attack and are being linked with players left, right and centre.

From Manchester United’s Edinson Cavani to Ferran Torres of Manchester City, to free agent Cedric Bakambu, the Blaugrana have been credited with an interest in a host of attacking players over the past few weeks.

However, the club’s situation financially and the La Liga salary cap rules mean that Barça’s hands remain tied in the market. So, in order to be able to sign new stars, the Blaugrana will have to offload some of their current players, so as to make room for new arrivals.

That, according to Barcelona’s sporting director Mateu Alemany, remains the first and foremost objective of the club heading into the January transfer window.

Speaking to Movistar (h/t COPE), he said: “We have a lot of duties at Barcelona currently, but the first thing is to respect financial fair play to be able to sign. There must be departures first and foremost.”

In recent weeks, various reports have indicated that players like Philippe Coutinho and Samuel Umtiti, who do not belong in the manager’s plans but continue to collect big pay packets are at the top of the club’s exit list.

Efforts are being made to move them from Camp Nou, while summer signing Luuk de Jong is also expected to be on his way out, along with Yusuf Demir.

Sergino Dest is another player who seems to have failed to make the desired impression on Xavi and could be allowed to leave. There is interest in his services from Bayern Munich, who also wanted to sign him during the summer.

The upcoming transfer window will be crucial to how Barcelona finish the ongoing campaign. Strengthening the forward line, especially in the No. 9 position has become imperative. But for that to happen, as Alemany says, players will need to be sold first.

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