Barcelona are currently sitting pretty with a two-point advantage over Real Madrid at the top of the La Liga table. However, the recent COVID-19 outbreak has caused the Spanish season to come to a standstill. The sudden halt could hamper Barca’s momentum as they were slowly playing themselves back to form in league football, picking up four wins out of their past five matches.
Quique Setein has to make sure he can improve his squad in the off-season, but for that to happen, he will first need to get rid of some of his underperforming players so that he can generate enough cash for incoming transfers during the summer transfer window.
Here are four players Setien should consider offloading from his squad before the start of the new campaign.
The Croatia international has just got over a year left in his current contract at the Nou Camp. Therefore, the Catalans will have to cash in on him this summer or risk losing him for nothing next year. Rakitic has struggled to be productive going forward, picking up only four assists in 31 matches for Barca this season in all competitions. Maybe, letting him go in the off-season could be the right call for Setien and his long-term ambitions at Catalunya.
The Uruguayan striker had missed a significant chunk of this season due to injury. The 33-year-old is slowly losing his influence in the Barca first-team despite producing decent numbers in terms of goal-scoring. He has scored 14 goals and provided 11 assists in 23 matches for his current employers this term on all fronts.
Similar to Rakitic, his current contract at Barca runs out at the end of next season, so Setien will be forced to sell him in the coming months or lose him for free in the summer of 2021. At 33, the veteran forward has nothing left to prove to the Nou Camp faithful, so this could be the ideal time for time to bid adios to the Spanish giants in search of a new adventure next season.
The Barcelona fans would have hoped that the French speedster will come alive and burst into form this season, but things have not gone to plan for him yet. Dembele has been plagued with injuries and has made only nine appearances for the Catalan outfit, playing a total of 492 minutes in the process. He has failed to live up to his price-tag, so it’s high time that Barca move him on. It makes a lot of sense for the La Liga leaders to cut the 22-year-old loose so that they can recoup a sizable transfer fee for him to fund a move for a marquee signing in the off-season.
The French defender has endured another injury-ridden campaign after missing several matches due to a foot problem and later, a knee injury. In his absence, Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet have formed a fruitful partnership at the heart of Setien’s defence. Umtiti has featured in 16 matches for the Catalans this term but has struggled to make a lasting impression. Thus, Barca need to part ways with him this summer so that they can recruit a more reliable centre-back, who will be able to provide some healthy competition for Pique and Lenglet in search of a permanent starting berth at the Nou Camp.