Three players that could be on the move after Barcelona seal deal for Ferran Torres
Barcelona to offload stars to make room?
News that Spanish giants Barcelona have all but completed a deal for Manchester City’s Spanish international Ferran Torres has shown that Xavi intends to move quickly in his attempts to add quality in the first team at the Camp Nou, but that desire could certainly come with a price.
Ferrán Torres to Barcelona, done deal confirmed and here we go! The agreement has been completed for €55m plus €10m add ons to Manchester City. 🤝🇪🇸 #FCB
Ferrán will sign a five year deal as new Barcelona players in the coming hours. He’s always been the priority for Xavi. pic.twitter.com/n1LsaHmISQ
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) December 22, 2021
According to AS source Javi Miguel Club, Barcelona could be set to part ways with up to five first-team assets in order for Torres to slot into the squad at the Camp Nou.
🚨[ @fansjavimiguel🥇] | 5 players set for January exit from Barcelona.
The rebuild project of FC Barcelona under Xavi begins with several exits in January and 5 players are set to leave the club in January.#FCBlive pic.twitter.com/jCxxBvGA80
— BarçaTimes (@BarcaTimes) December 21, 2021
And there are a number of current players that the club could look to jettison, including loan signing Luuk de Jong as well as the potential of parting ways with French international winger Ousmane Dembélé.
But which players make the most sense to shift off the books while easily being able to garner interest in their services? Here are three players that Barcelona should look to offload.
Philippe Coutinho; a failed Barcelona dream
Brazilian international Philippe Coutinho seemingly had the world at his feet five years ago after his stunning performances for Premier League giants Liverpool. It was a far cry from where the Rio de Janeiro-native was during his spell at Inter Milan, one where he failed to impress sufficiently enough after arriving from Vasco da Gama in 2010.
At Anfield, Coutinho would eventually credit himself with 54-goals and 45-assists in just 201-appearances across all competitions which earned him a massive €135million move to Barcelona in 2018. He started brightly at the Camp Nou as well, registering 7-goals and 7-assists in his first 18-appearances in La Liga in the second half of the 2017-18 season. His production immediately fell the season after, which eventually led to a loan move to German giants Bayern Munich that seemingly reinvigorated him (8-goals & 10-assists in 23-appearances in the Bundesliga).
Xavi’s views on Coutinho couldn’t really be any clearer.
— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) December 21, 2021
But since his Barça return, he has failed to make more than 12-appearances in the league across the last two seasons, which his contributions barely reach credible levels. Given his massive wages and failure to settle at the club, he’s a shoo-in for the club to push him out the door after links with interest from cash-backed Newcastle, Tottenham, and Everton despite receiving recent backing from Xavi.
Yusuf Demir; failed loan-move for Austrian starlet
One of the stars of tomorrow for Austrian football, Yusuf Demir had the opportunity of a lifetime present itself when Barcelona bagged the 18-year-old youth international on a loan deal this season with a €10million purchase clause based on appearances. Fast-forward to now, and Demir paints the picture of a player who perhaps bit off more than he was able to chew.
Things started brightly for the native of Wien (Vienna) during pre-season where he shone well for the Blaugrana but has since failed to make those appearances count when it has mattered most during the 2021-22 campaign.
Demir has managed just nine appearances across all competitions while logging a total of only 290-minutes between La Liga and the Champions League, which has caused some fans on social media to speculate that Barcelona is reluctant to utilize him again as that would mean triggering their buy clause. With his failure to truly impress, it may come as no surprise if that theory is actually proven correct, and with Alex Collado available at the start of January and the purchase of Ferran Torres, it makes all the sense in the world for Demir’s loan to be cut short and the Austrian starlet to return home.
Samuel Umtiti; Barcelona exit finally coming to fruition?
One of six center-backs in the Barcelona squad, French international Samuel Umtiti could finally be on his way out of the Camp Nou after years of speculation surrounding his future in Catalonia.
The former Olympique Lyonnais standout and academy graduate has been at the club since the summer of 2016, but for the lions’ share of his time at Barcelona, he has failed to find consistency in the level of his performances. Now 28-years-old and a part of a cadre of central defenders that apart from veteran Gerard Pique are all younger – especially Ronald Araújo (22), Eric García (20), and Óscar Mingueza (22) – the time to cash in on Umtiti could certainly be now given the depth in the position under Xavi.
After Luuk de Jong, the next departure will be Sergiño Dest, and maybe Umtiti. It’s very hard that Coutinho leaves, though.
— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) December 15, 2021
Spanish outlet AS reported a few weeks ago that the club was looking to shift him off the books come January while citing Italian giants AC Milan as a possible landing spot for the Frenchman who has not appeared for the club since May and has recently drawn reactions from Barcelona fans in a ‘disrespectful’ show of force as he left the club’s training ground. Whether or not he eventually finds an exit path out of the Catalan capital remains to be seen, but it is clear that Barça fans want to dispose of him as quickly as possible.