Blaugrana could introduce as many as seven new faces to their squad next season
Barcelona‘s performances since the turn of the year have been great and have reinforced the trust of fans and the club in their new head coach. However, their recent upsets in the Europa League against Eintracht Frankfurt and to Cadiz and Rayo Vallecano in La Liga show that there is still a long way to go.
The current squad, although good, does not have the depth to allow Barcelona to challenge for major silverware. Sport reports that Xavi Hernandez is well aware of this fact and is gearing up to bring as many as seven new faces into his team.
The former Blaugrana player wants to see his players competing for the starting spot in every position.
The same report from Sport also quotes his words from last Saturday when the 42-year old said:
“There are positions that are not doubled and the idea is to have two competitive players per position.”
Barcelona’s hierarchy, which includes Mateu Alemany and Jordi Cruyff, are in tandem with Xavi’s approach. They are pulling the strings to ensure the necessary arrivals.
Brazilian goalkeeper Norberto Neto is highly likely to depart this summer, which will leave a vacant position for Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s backup. Barcelona’s academy graduate Iñaki Peña, who is currently on loan to Galatasaray, is seen as a viable replacement for Neto.
However, the arrival of a new goalkeeper is not being ruled out.
The backline is also bound to go through many changes with out-of-favor centre-backs Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti set to depart. Oscar Mingueza is also not a popular figure and could head out of the club in the summer. The La Masia graduate has lacked consistency in his performances.
Chelsea‘s Andreas Christensen will arrive on a free transfer and has reportedly signed a four-year contract with Barcelona. With Jordi Alba being the only left-back in the squad, strengthening the full-back position is a priority for the Catalans. They have been long-term admirers of Spain international Jose Gaya.
The Valencia left-back’s contract expires in 2023 and Xavi could choose to wait for another year rather than spend an outrageous amount on him. Grimaldo and Nicolas Tagliafico have also been thrown into the mix.
In midfield, AC Milan’s Franck Kessie is all set to arrive in the summer and has the credentials to immediately settle in at Barcelona and become a vital cog. With the presence of Pedri, Gavi, Frenkie de Jong, Nico Gonzalez and Sergio Busquets, the midfield looks like a good package.
Bayern Munich and Leeds United forwards on Barcelona’s shopping list
Sport believes that the attacking department is where the Blaugrana could spend big and have not hidden their ambitions of signing Raphina and Robert Lewandowski. The Catalans have tried to hold talks with the Leeds attacker through their representative Deco, but an agreement with the English club would be difficult to crack.
Barcelona are well aware that Bayern Munich marksman Lewandowski is not happy with his current situation. The German giants have been unable to tie their prolific striker to a new deal and the Blaugrana are determined to test their patience.
The Poland international has previously spoken about wanting a new challenge, and the La Liga giants could spend as much as €40 million to sign him. This heavy influx of players will also mean that a lot more will be pushed through the exit as well.
The likes of Francisco Trincao and Philippe Coutinho could be sold to Wolves and Aston Villa – their respective loan clubs. Carlos Braithwaite and Memphis Depay are also expected to head out for regular playing time.