Barcelona president Joan Laporta is reportedly planning a summer “revolution” at the Camp Nou and has a list of 14 players who could be deemed surplus to requirements.
Laporta wants to reduce the wage bill and increase the quality of the squad. This means he is considering “14 possible exit operations” which would involve permanent transfers, loan deals, and the possibility of releasing some players from their contracts, according to Fernando Polo and Sergi Sole at Mundo Deportivo.
Big-money buys such as Philippe Coutinho and Miralem Pjanic are mentioned along with defenders Samuel Umtiti and Junior Firpo. Back-up goalkeeper Neto, Brazilian midfielder Matheus Fernandes and striker Martin Braithwaite are also on the list.
Laporta also has key decisions to make about a host of other players, particularly Lionel Messi who is out of contract in the summer. The report states that Barcelona is planning on having the captain around “for two more years.”
Meanwhile, Barcelona must also make decisions on players such as Ousmane Dembele and Sergi Roberto who are out of contract in 2022. To avoid the risk of losing either for free the club must offer a contract renewal or look for a sale.
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Riqui Puig Staying At Barcelona?
There has also been plenty of speculation about Riqui Puig’s future at Barcelona with the 21-year-old having struggled for game time this season under Ronald Koeman. Puig has only managed two La Liga starts and has found it tough going.
According to Roger Torello at Mundo Deportivo, the club is counting on Puig for next season and he is not on the list of players Barcelona is willing to sell. Indeed the club’s chiefs are a little baffled why Koeman has not used Puig more regularly in 2020-21.
Puig has regularly insisted he is determined to succeed at Barcelona despite still being on the fringes. He told Marca in October that he was “optimistic” he could play his way into the first team.
Yet he 21-year-old doesn’t appear to have earned Koeman’s trust yet, and it’s difficult to see him playing regularly next season if the Dutchman remains in charge. However, there’s no guarantee yet that Koeman will see out his two-year deal.
Koeman met Laporta and vice-president Rafa Yuste for talks on Thursday to discuss recent performances, according to Sport. Laporta has not yet confirmed Koeman will stay on and will wait until the end of the season to make a final decision.
Barcelona Looking At Free Transfers
Barcelona will also look to bring in players during the summer transfer window but may stick to free transfers due to the club’s perilous financial situation. According to the initial report, Manchester City defender Eric Garcia will secure his return to the Camp Nou after the Champions League final.
Attackers Memphis Depay and Sergio Aguero could also both arrive, while Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum is also a target. All three players will be free agents at the end of the season.
Speculation Aguero will sign for Barcelona has ramped up in recent days. According to La Porteria, there is now “total agreement” between Barcelona and Aguero for the striker to sign a two-year deal.