After finishing outside of the top two in La Liga for the first time since 2008, Barcelona are ready for a complete clear out and rebuild of their squad this summer.
With Ronald Koeman given assurances that he will stay as manager for now, the Dutch coach looks set to bring in his own set of players during the transfer window. But with Barça’s poor financial situation well documented, that means they need to get rid of some deadwood first.
According to Sport, the Catalan giants have reportedly got up to 10 first-team players they’re ready to part ways with this summer. But in a COVID-hit market, where could those players go? 90min takes a look at the most likely destinations for each player.
Neto signed in a swap deal from Valencia in 2019 that saw Jasper Cillessen go the other way, in order to serve as back up for Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Since then he’s been exactly that, failing to really challenge for the number one spot and it seems likely that he’ll be moved on this summer to try and make some money.
A return to Valencia is unlikely, but there are several other La Liga clubs who would see him as an upgrade for their number one shirt.
Potential destinations: Real Betis, Real Sociedad, Villarreal
2. Samuel Umtiti
The French defender was a key part of the Barcelona defence for two years, winning La Liga in 2017/18. He was so good in fact that he was part of France’s World Cup winning side in 2018 too.
But injuries have hit him hard over the last couple of years and he’s fallen way down the pecking order and now looks likely to leave.
Russian side Zenit are said to be the most interested party but a return to Lyon in Ligue 1 shouldn’t be ruled out either.
Potential destinations: Zenit, PSG, Lyon, Monaco
3. Junior Firpo
Firpo was brought in originally as the man to push Jordi Alba and eventually take his spot at left-back. He played fairly well in his first season, but under Koeman has found regular game time hard to come by.
He’s still only 24 though and has plenty of room to improve, with great pace and attacking prowess down the flanks.
Plenty of clubs are reported to have shown an interest including Premier League outfits Southampton and West Ham as well as a mountain of Serie A clubs and a transfer fee would likely be relatively low with Barcelona so desperate to get rid.
Potential destinations: Real Betis, Southampton, West Ham, AC Milan
4. Miralem Pjanic
One of the bigger transfers of the summer last year saw Arthur Melo and Pjanic swap clubs in separate €60m+ deals.
Despite spending a big sum on the Bosnian midfielder, he’s barely featured this season with Koeman not taking to him at all. With the emergence of youngsters Pedri and Ilaix Moriba, he’s fallen even further down the pecking order and is unlikely to hang about without regular football.
A return to Serie A seems most likely, and a potential return to Roma to help Jose Mourinho’s first season could be on the cards, while Chelsea also reportedly hold an interest.
Potential destinations: Roma, Chelsea
5. Riqui Puig
Puig was so highly rated coming out of the academy a couple of years ago, but when Koeman arrived he was cast to the side.
He featured for just 78 minutes before the turn of the year when injury problems meant he got a bit more of a look in. Despite impressing, it seems unlikely he’ll enter Koeman’s plans regularly and a loan move could potentially happen too.
His style and size is most suited to a La Liga club and his talent should see him in Europe too, so don’t be surprised to see him turn up at Real Sociedad or Real Betis.
Potential destinations: Real Betis, Real Sociedad
6. Phillipe Coutinho
If you’re really honest with yourself, at some point in the last year you forgot that Coutinho was a Barcelona player.
Since signing for £142m from Liverpool he has been nothing short of a disaster, with more memorable moments against Barcelona than with them.
With huge wages to come off the wage bill, a Premier League return is the most likely thing for the attacking midfielder. Spurs and Arsenal were linked in the past and both still need strengthening in the position, so it’s one to keep an eye on.
Potential destinations: Tottenham, Arsenal, Everton, PSG
7. Antoine Griezmann
The biggest name of the lot, Griezmann’s time at Barcelona has been mixed since signing from Atletico Madrid for €120m.
He’s often been played out of position but this season he still managed to score 20 goals in 51 appearances across all competitions. Despite that though, Koeman is reportedly ready to bring in Memphis and Sergio Aguero which would make Griezmann surplus to requirements.
Potential destinations: Inter, PSG
8. Martin Braithwaite
This was a deal that made very little sense at the time anyway but the fact it’s gone on this long is baffling too.
Braithwaite scored seven times this season but he just isn’t the type of quality that Barcelona fans are used to up front and with a lack of game time, he’s likely to use Euro 2020 as a chance to garner some interest.
Potential destinations: Wolves, West Ham, Brighton
9. Ousmane Dembele
If this one happens, Dembele is likely to be the most sought after player on this list.
Barcelona want to tie him to a new contract but with his current deal expiring next summer, it’s said that the club will consider selling him if they can’t to avoid losing him on a free.
Potential destinations: PSG, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool.