Barcelona urgently seeks solutions for the winter market

BARCELONA – Barcelona have a clear roadmap for next winter’s transfer market, but much less the way to carry it out. Xavi Hernández, coach of the first team and de facto turned into the head of sports policy after the departure of technical secretary Ramon Planes, yearns for two additions that will reinforce the attack game: a lopsided winger and a proven scorer. The objectives are as clear as it seems difficult, in mid-December, to make them come true.

With Dani Alves signed, the club urgently needs to lower the wage bill and make room in the squad to give entry to any other footballer and, as he may have learned ESPN SportsDuring the meetings that have been held in recent days, mainly after the defeat of Munich, the leftover names have returned to the foreground and some more have been added. Barça urgently seeks the exit of Philippe Coutinho and Samuel Umtiti mainly but they are joined by those of Luuk de Jong, Neto and even Sergiño Dest, directly pointed out in the disaster against Bayern by the coach and by whom proposals would be received, such as is the case even with Mingueza or Lenglet, although such a wide-ranging operation is considered a chimera at this point in the course.

Among all the names to follow to reinforce the squad that have been repeated in recent weeks, the one of Ferran Torres, outside of Manchester City and of whom a source from the Barça club clarified to ESPN which is “interesting”, but at the same time “difficult” and that of Edinson Cavani, a 34-year-old Manchester United goal scorer who ends his contract in June 2022 and who would be seen as a valid addition to the manager’s liking to alleviate the Realizing problem for a team that in 21 official games this season has barely scored 25 goals.

“There is a market and Barça has to be attentive to it,” said Xavi in ​​the press room this Saturday, warning that “today all the players are non-transferable because we need them,” but acknowledging having held meetings with Laporta and his collaborators to discuss the issue. “There is good communication and I was clear about what I see and what I want … We have to work to find solutions to improve the team and the squad to be more competitive.”

At the Camp Nou, there is awareness of the difficulty of finding a way out in the ideal conditions for the remaining players, all of them with a current contract and with salaries that hardly any other club would equal, especially in the case of Coutinho and Umtiti, who in the last few months have been referred to this contract as the only answer. The performance of the Brazilian, who did not wake up from his lethargy with Koeman, has disappointed Xavi to the point that he has lost the confidence he had in him while the French central, whom he personally congratulated on his work when arriving at the club, continues to be the only one without minutes and his departure is considered strategic, taking into account his high salary.

“We will try to make all the changes that we think should be made”, Xavi solved, waiting “to see what market there is and what possibilities we have because there is the problem of the salary limit and we are very conditioned.”

Meanwhile, the club, with the general director Ferran Reverter at the helm and the direct collaboration of the football director Mateu Alemany, is urgently looking for formulas to reach an agreement with the representatives of the two players and awaits to know the options that may exist with Net and Dest. The salary mass of the workforce continues to rise to 430 million euros and it is essential to lighten it in order to aspire to incorporate players. Both in January and, mainly, at the end of this season.

The options that Barça leaders handle are several: transfers even at a lower price than usual as happened with Pjanic, assignments with purchase options like Griezmann starred in or, in the most extreme case, contract terminations as was the case with Matheus Fernandes, an option that can cause legal problems in the long run but has supporters in the club.