Winds of change are blowing at Camp Nou as Barcelona usher in a new era under Joan Laporta.
Following a tumultuous campaign that saw the Catalan club finish outside the top two in La Liga, Laporta, elected the club president in March earlier this year, is a man on a mission as he looks to quickly restore the glory days back at Barcelona. This has meant that a complete overhaul of the squad is on the cards this summer.
Barcelona’s financial difficulties are no hidden secret. Gone are the days of lavish spending with no rhyme or reason under Laporta’s predecessor, Josep Maria Bartomeu, with the club needing to look for cost-effective options in the transfer market.
Indeed, Barcelona have brought in three players already this summer, out of which two – Eric Garcia and Sergio Aguero – are free transfers while Emerson is a bargain at €9million. At the same time, the club needs to get rid of the deadwood from the squad and trim the wage bill. As many as thirteen players could, thus, be shown the exit doors at Camp Nou before the next season kicks off.
The biggest of the names that could be on their way out is Antoine Griezmann. The Frenchman did show signs of improvement towards the end of the season but hasn’t done enough to justify the massive investment made in him in 2019.
Club record signing Philippe Coutinho also finds himself in the same boat as Griezmann, having not played since December last year due to an injury. Another marquee player who could be sold is Ousmane Dembele, as negotiations over a deal have not progressed as per plans with his current contract expires in a year.
Last summer signing Miralem Pjanic has found life difficult in Catalonia, having struggled to break into the starting XI under Ronald Koeman. A return to Juventus has been mooted for the Bosnian international.
Apart from these four names, French defensive duo Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti are also facing the axe, with an overhaul at the back in the works. Backup goalkeeper Neto is also set to depart, with interest coming from the Premier League for the Brazilian.
Fringe players Junior Firpo, Francisco Trincao, Martin Braithwaite, and Sergi Roberto are also likely to be on their way out, as well as youngsters Carles Alena and Matheus Fernandes.