Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is planning a massive overhaul of the Catalan club’s squad after their defeat to Bayern Munich and is prepared to sell all but four players, according to reports in Spain.
Quique Setien’s side were embarrassed by a rampant and ruthless Bayern side on Friday night in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, losing 8-2 – their worst defeat in almost 80 years.
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There have been calls for Bartomeu to resign after years of misjudged signings and poor squad building, but, according to reports, the Barca president will not step down and is instead plotting a wave of changes.
First up, Bartomeu will relieve Setien of his duties imminently with former Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino the favourite to replace him, though the likes of Ronald Koeman and Max Allegri are also in the frame.
He also wants to totally refresh Barca’s ageing squad and has put every senior player in the team up for sale bar four: Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Clement Lenglet, Frankie De Jong and Lionel Messi.
The club have been looking for buyers for the likes of Samuel Umtiti, Ivan Rakitic, Rafinha and Arturo Vidal for some time, though now Bartomeu has added some ‘untouchables’ to the list of players he is prepared to sell.
Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Luis Suarez and Gerard Pique – who said he would be ‘the first to accept’ if new blood was needed – are all on the chopping block.
Barca recognise, though, that with all four players over the age of 30 and on massive wages they will be very hard to sell, and funds are needed in order to bring in the new faces that Bartomeu’s overhaul requires.
Ousmane Dembele and Antoine Griezmann will also be sold if any reasonable offers are made, with Barca finally prepared to cut their losses on two players who have failed to live up to their enormous price tags.
In addition to the aforementioned four senior players who will not be sold, a number of youngsters will also be kept and integrated further into the first team: Ansu Fati, Riqui Puig, Pedro and Francisco Trincao.
If Barca can raise enough funds from their mammoth fire sale they will look to bring in Lautaro Martinez from Inter Milan and centre-back Eric Garcia from Manchester City, among others.
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