Morata’s arrival, Dembele’s departure and what the Barcelona transfer window could look like in January
Barcelona’s season has been a well-documented disaster to date.
They were seventh in La Liga at the winter break, 18 points behind leaders Real Madrid, and were left out of Europe at the end of the Champions League group stage.
The sacking of Ronald Koeman and the arrival of Xavi have brought optimism to the club, but lingering injury issues and a recent Covid-19 outbreak have left Barca entering 2022 in a fragile state.
Memphis Depay’s summer arrival did not immediately convince and does not seem to fit Xavi’s preferred tactical system, while Sergio Aguero retired due to a heart problem.
Luuk de Jong is much maligned, loaned teenager Yusuf Demir is already set to leave, while summer signing Eric Garcia is still settling in.
So Barcelona are in desperate need of reinforcements at both ends of the pitch, with only Ronald Araujo convincing at center-back, while goals have been a big problem for the Catalans.
Since Xavi’s appointment, the Catalans have played with more determination and intention, but still struggle in the second half and don’t spoil the chances they create. There is a lot of room for improvement.
Barcelona have sealed the signing of Ferran Torres from Manchester City for € 55million (£ 46million / $ 62million) but need to save money to be able to register the versatile striker.
The deal highlights the club’s precarious financial situation and offers a useful guide to predicting which other players might arrive in January. Indeed, it is clear that Barcelona are hoping to get players on short-term loan deals, perhaps with an option to buy in the summer.
Alvaro Morata is a target, confirmed by the club, although Barcelona will have to get creative again to bring in the Spain striker.
He is on loan to Juventus, who are ready to let him go if they can get a replacement, but parent club Atletico Madrid will not want to bolster a direct rival.
However, there could be some room for negotiation with the fees Atletico will pay Barcelona for Antoine Griezmann, who is currently on loan at Wanda Metropolitano. Morata, for his part, accepted the change and would obviously be a better player for Xavi’s setup than Memphis.
Most of the other players linked to Barca are out of contract at the end of the season.
Chelsea duo Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen are potential arrivals, but with Thomas Tuchel’s side having been hit hard by injuries and illnesses, either is unlikely to be allowed to leave anymore. early.
Barcelona have also followed Denis Zakaria from Borussia Mönchengladbach, but he is not expected to leave until the summer.
There are very few players in the Barcelona squad who would not be sold at the right price, even if they are particularly keen to get rid of certain players.
Philippe Coutinho’s record signing is the biggest wheel around Barcelona’s neck. His € 20million (£ 17million / $ 23million) salary is holding back the Catalans financially and Xavi has only used it sparingly as he clearly doesn’t trust the Brazilian. Indeed, Coutinho is now behind young Gavi, Nico and Pedri in the pecking order.
However, due to the ex-Liverpool man’s massive salary demands, it has proven difficult to find a buyer. The club are hopeful that newly wealthy Newcastle United could offer them a return to the Premier League.
Samuel Umtiti is in a similar boat, although the French defender seems reluctant to leave and resume his career elsewhere. His injury issues, as well as his salary, make clubs reluctant to take a chance.
Yusuf Demir, on loan from Rapid Vienna, did not train in order to prepare for his future. After a promising start to life at Barça, his time is up. Xavi prefers the youngsters of the B team Ilias Akhomach and Ez Abde.
The arrival of Dani Alves, although on a short-term contract, could also pave the way for Sergino Dest to leave the club, with Xavi not being convinced by the USA international. Between Alves and Oscar Mingueza, Barcelona have enough right-back cover to let Dest go.
Difficulties in selling Coutinho and Umtiti mean loan moves where Barcelona still cover part of their salary may be a more realistic option.
As for the youngsters, the Catalans have historically not been particularly keen to let their La Masia talents play out, and less so at the moment with so much injury worries. The direct pipeline to the first shift has been restored after years of non-use.
And in the case of some players, like Riqui Puig, when they were offered loans they turned them down in an attempt to stay as close as possible to achieving their dream at Camp Nou.
However, young striker Alex Collado agreed to move to Granada on loan after missing the first half of the season when a deal with Sheffield United fell through and it was too late to sign him up for Barca or Barca B .
The biggest problem at Barcelona is Ousmane Dembele’s contract, which expires this summer. He arrived for 147million euros (£ 123million / $ 167million), including additions, but has flattered himself to cheat so far.
Injuries kept the French winger from playing regularly and his behavior, especially in his early years at Barcelona, frustrated club staff.
Nonetheless, they want to give him the chance to shine under Xavi, who is a fan and could use a player of Dembele’s profile to beat players one-on-one in wide areas.
In addition, the renewal of his contract would also allow Ferran Torres to be enrolled, since the amortization of his transfer costs would be spread over the additional years.
However, as reported GOAL, talks about a renewal have now collapsed, meaning Dembele’s future is on hold.
Sergi Roberto is also out of contract this summer, but the club have vowed to give him a new contract even though he is currently recovering from surgery. They hope to reduce his salary substantially but no agreement has been reached before his injury.
Gavi’s contract is also a topic of discussion, as his release clause is only € 50million (£ 42million / $ 57million) and after breaking into the limelight Barcelona want the ” increase and offer him a salary more in line with his excellent performance.