Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has reportedly told five players to leave the club before the end of the transfer window at the end of August as they are not in his plans for the new campaign.
The Dutchman is not counting on Samuel Umtiti, Miralem Pjanic, Alex Collado, Riqui Puig, or Rey Manaj for the 2021-22 campaign and has advised all five players to find an exit before the transfer window closes at the end of the month, as reported by Catalan journalist Gerard Romero.
Koeman has already described the situation of Umtiti and Pjanic at Barcelona as “complicated” after leaving both players out of his matchday squad for the opening two games of the season against Real Sociedad and Athletic.
Barcelona is said to be “furious” with Umtiti as he is reluctant to listen to offers despite being told he’s surplus to requirements. The club is reportedly set for more talks with the Frenchman to ask him to reconsider his position.
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Pjanic To Italy, Collado To Braga?
Pjanic appears keen to seal a move away from Barcelona after just one season at the Camp Nou. The midfielder has struggled for game time since joining from Juventus but could be set to return to Italy.
According to Marca, Pjanic could move to Fiorentina or Napoli on loan. A return to Juventus appears to have been ruled out after the Turin giants signed midfielder Manuel Locatelli from Sassuolo.
Napoli currently looks the more likely option as Fiorentina have also moved to strengthen the midfield. Uruguayan Lucas Torreira is expected to join the Serie A side from Arsenal on loan, according to Sky Sports.
Meanwhile, fellow midfielder Collado has an offer on the table from Portuguese side Braga, according to Mundo Deportivo. The 22-year-old is also yet to feature for Barca in the opening two games of the season and looks set to struggle for game time if he does continue.
Koeman said after the 4-2 win over Real Sociedad that he currently prefers 18-year-old Yusuf Demir to Collado, according to Javier Gascon at Mundo Deportivo. Demir only joined the club in the summer from Rapid Vienna but made his La Liga debut in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Athletic.
What Next For Riqui Puig?
The other two names on Koeman’s list are reserve striker Rey Manaj and Riqui Puig. Manaj spent last season with Barca B but made an impact in pre-season scoring in friendly wins over Nastic and Girona.
However, it’s no surprise the 24-year-old is not in Koeman’s plans given the Dutchman also has Antoine Griezmann, Memphis Depay, Martin Braithwaite, Sergio Aguero, Ansu Fati, and Ousmane Dembele as attacking options for the season.
Puig will have been hoping for a role at Barca this season but has not featured in either of Barca’s La Liga games so far either despite making both squads. Koeman advised Puig to go out on loan last season but the midfielder opted to stay and fight for his place.
The 22-year-old has made it clear he’s determined to succeed at Barca but still doesn’t appear any closer to convincing Koeman of his qualities. Puig spent most of last season on the bench at the Camp Nou and looks set for more frustration if he does decide to stay on.