Eight operations Barcelona must prioritise during the summer transfer window
Barcelona have a hectic summer ahead of them, with several operations taking priority.
With the need to lower the wage bill by over €200 million, the club will have to act fast, especially now that it has been reported that their financial plan for the summer transfer window will likely not be accepted by La Liga.
There are, however, eight operations Barcelona must look to complete during the summer transfer window.
First and foremost, Barcelona will have to finalise player exits. There are a lot of players on the transfer list, including the likes of Ferran Torres, Ansu Fati, Franck Kessie, and even Raphinha, who has been enjoying an impressive spell of form.
Eric Garcia has not been getting minutes, either, and is linked with an exit, especially with the potential signing of Inigo Martinez.
Doubts on loan players
Barcelona will also have to deal with the futures of several players that left on loan – for varying durations. Some of them have exceeded expectations during their loan tenure, while others have been severely ostracised.
Ez Abde, for example, is expected to be back in the Barça first-team fold after an impressive spell at Osasuna this season. Samuel Umtiti, too, has enjoyed a solid season, and is on the radar of several Italian clubs ahead of the summer, including Inter Milan.
Francisco Trincao has also pretty much sealed his future at Sporting CP, but the same cannot be said for Sergino Dest or Clement Lenglet.
The former will almost definitely return to Barcelona, with the club hoping to offload him. The latter, on the other hand, has had a handful of solid performances, and the Catalans are reportedly in talks with Tottenham Hotspur over a permanent move, but it might be too early to take a call on his future.
Nico Gonzalez will be back at Camp Nou after an injury-riddled season at Valencia. While the player wants to succeed at the club, he might not get a spot in an already packed midfield.
Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba are the two veterans remaining in the squad with their futures still up in the air.
While Xavi wants Busquets to renew his contract due to a lack of any natural replacement in the squad, the club wants to force Alba out of the team due to his incredibly high salary.
Leo Messi’s return
Barcelona’s biggest move for the summer is to bring back Lionel Messi, who left the club for PSG two seasons ago. The Argentine is set to become a free agent in the summer, and wants to come back to Barcelona.
The Blaugranes have sent a financial plan for his arrival to La Liga, but it might not be approved by the league.
Messi still has PSG’s contract extension on his table, and could renew his contract with the club if Barça are unable to sign him.
Registrations: Balde, Araujo, Gavi
Barcelona have been unable to register several important players to their team despite reaching an agreement with them over their contract extensions.
Gavi, especially, has suffered a lot due to this. The Spaniard was promoted to the senior team with a first-team number – #6 -, but La Liga have demoted the teenager back to Juvenil A, forcing him to return to his old #30 jersey.
Ronald Araujo has also signed a long-term extension with the club, but his new contract has not been registered, either.
As for Alejandro Balde, Barcelona are optimistic about reaching an agreement with the player soon, giving him a place in the senior team along with a considerable salary boost.
Barcelona will have to rely on low-cost or free transfers to make waves during the summer window.
While reports have suggested they have already signed Inigo Martinez from Athletic Club on a free transfer, there are several other free agents on their radar, like Ilkay Gundogan, Lionel Messi, and Marcus Thuram among others.
They could also make moves for the likes of Yannick Carrasco or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, both of them will likely not be available for free, though.
Barcelona want to reinforce the striker position given Robert Lewandowski’s age, and are targeting a move for Vitor Roque as their primary target in that position.
While the player is more than happy to join the club, the move is currently halted in its tracks. Barcelona are expected to continue with their efforts, though, with Xavi having given his approval for the signing already.
What happens to pivot and right-back?
While Busquets could still end up signing a contract extension, Barcelona want to sign a defensive midfielder this summer. However, their primary target – Martin Zubimendi – will end up costing €60 million in the summer.
Sofyan Amrabat and Ruben Neves are also on their radar alongside Uruguayan starlet Fabricio Diaz.
As for the right-back, Jules Kounde has already told the club that he no longer wants to play in that position next season. Barcelona will likely be in the market to find a reinforcement, with Thomas Meunier, Joao Cancelo, Benjamin Pavard, and Juan Foyth reportedly on their radar.