Mateu Alemany and Jordi Cruyff


The 'folders' that Barça has to solve before the start of the course

Published:7/08/2022 - 08:35h

Updated:7/08/2022 - 12:13h

FC Barcelona will officially start the 2022-23 season next Saturday. One week before the start of LaLiga, the club still has several 'folders' to solve, including the cases of up to 10 players on the squad

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One week before FC Barcelona's debut in LaLiga, time is running out at Can Barça to finalize the 2022-23 squad. With six reinforcements and at least a couple more on the waiting list (Marcos Alonso and Bernardo Silva), the board needs to release quotas and salary bills in the first team, for which it must decide the future of up to 10 footballers, three of them youth squad of the subsidiary.

They are Ez Abde, Álex Collado and Alejandro Balde. The Moroccan winger knows that he has no place in the squad after the renewal of Ousmane Dembélé and the signing of Raphinha, so his departure will be processed shortly, probably on loan. In the case of Collado, the midfielder traveled with the team to the US tour, but the overpopulation of players in the midfield will force him to go out on loan after renewing his contract until 2024. The same fate awaits Balde, who will lose his place in the squad before the imminent arrival of Marcos Alonso.

With regard to the first team players, the case closest to being resolved is that of Neto. The Brazilian goalkeeper is very close to closing his transfer to Bournemouth, after several weeks of frustrated negotiations. The opposite case occurs with Samuel Umtiti, for whom no formal offer has been received so far, beyond various rumors coming from Turkey and France, mainly.

In the case of Martin Braithwaite, the Dane has a juicy offer to go to Saudi Arabia, although the striker would prefer to continue playing in LaLiga. Getafe and Rayo Vallecano are his probable destinations, as long as Barça chooses to give him a letter of freedom, as will happen with Neto and, probably, with Umtiti. More complicated looks the case of Miralem Pjanic. The Bosnian likes Xavi Hernández a lot, but his permanence would imply the departure of Nico González if Bernardo Silva arrived.

However, the arrival of the Portuguese is linked to the possible transfer of Frenkie de Jong. Arkel's man has already ruled out going to Manchester United and now Chelsea is the club that intends to take him to England. Meanwhile, the midfielder remains firm in his intention to stay, but Joan Laporta and Mateu Alemany have already been clear with him: either his salary is lowered or he will have to leave, since the club cannot assume his current record.

Memphis and Dest, two 'soap operas' to solve

Another 'discard' who is running out of days to find a team is Memphis Depay. The '9' has already given his number to Robert Lewandowski and has known for several weeks that he has no place in the squad for 2022-23. Barça hopes to cash in on him, as they have good options of going to Juventus or Chelsea. In the event that he refuses to leave, the club will have no problem giving him a release letter, since he arrived a year ago 'at zero cost'.

On the other hand, Sergiño Dest's situation is much more complex. Xavi tried Ronald Araújo as a right-back in the preseason and Sergi Roberto seems to have won the American job after renewing until 2023. However, the non-arrival of César Azpilicueta will mean that one of the two stays and, if the '2 ' refuses to leave, it may be more feasible to transfer Sergi to the LA Galaxy, a club that could present a good offer for the youth squad soon.

In this way, Laporta and Alemany will work intensely to resolve most of these 'folders' before the start of LaLiga. Selling and transferring players to free up wage bill, together with the activation of the fourth economic 'lever' (the sale of the remaining 24.5% of Barça Studios) will allow LaLiga to adjust to financial 'fair play' and have all the reinforcements available to welcome Rayo Vallecano on Saturday at the Spotify Camp Nou. The culé board is betting on this.

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