Barcelona are facing a major dilemma in the goalkeeping department heading into the new season, as per Diario SPORT.
The Spanish news outlet suggests there is a great amount of confusion within the Barça camp over the goalkeeping unit.
While Marc-Andre ter Stegen is the undisputed starter in between the sticks next season, Barcelona are unsure over the role of second and third-choice goalkeepers, especially in the midst of Neto’s uncertain future at the club.
Barcelona want the former Juventus star to leave Camp Nou in the summer, as he is already sitting on a lucrative contract. Neto, though, has no intention to leave the club and wants to remain at Camp Nou until his contract expires at the end of next season.
Neto’s prolonged stay at the club could be a devastating prospect for the younger players as well as Barcelona themselves.
The Catalans had identified Inaki Pena as the desired backup for ter Stegen in the 2022/23 campaign. The goalkeeper is set to return to Camp Nou in the summer after his loan spell at Galatasaray, with many expecting him to become the second choice ‘keeper.
However, Neto’s stay at the club could dwindle Pena’s role in the first team. And given his rapid progress in recent years, the 23-year-old will not enjoy serving as the third-choice ‘keeper.
Barcelona cannot loan him out either as Pena’s current contract expires in 2023. Barça are facing a similar situation with Arnau Tenas, who is currently the first-choice keeper for the B side, with many expecting him to become the future face of the Barcelona goal.
However, with Tenas’ contract expiring in 2023, the Blaugrana may have to conjure up new deals for both him and Pena, before making definitive decisions over their respective futures.
While Tenas should remain at Barcelona B next season, the future of Pena remains unresolved and could be directly linked with the fate of Neto this summer.