Manchester United, Arsenal and Leeds United could all be on alert this summer as Barcelona prepare to put a host of stars in the shop window. And t
Manchester United, Arsenal and Leeds United could all be on alert this summer as Barcelona prepare to put a host of stars in the shop window. And the Catalan side are in no position to be picky, meaning a glut of bargain transfer opportunities could see several new faces switch the Camp Nou for the Premier League.
Among the cluster of stars ESPN claim Xavi has told to beat it, there remain several who may not be of particular interest to Premier League sides. Martin Braithwaite, Luuk de Jong and Oscar Mingueza are among them, while Francisco Trincao might have bagged himself a bumper move if his loan spell at Wolves had been more productive.
But the other six could draw attention primarily from Arsenal, Man Utd and Leeds. The Gunners may have the most at stake as boss Mikel Arteta will need a new centre-back if William Saliba opts against returning to north London, a new midfielder either way and at least one striker.
Defensively, Barca have put Samuel Umtiti and Clement Lenglet on the chopping block which could be enough to get Arteta’s attention.
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The former has somehow spent year after year collecting dust on the side-lines in Catalonia, without actively trying to seek out a move elsewhere. Last season, he made one appearance in all competitions and La Blaugrana would surely jump at the chance to shift him from the wage bill. As for Arsenal, they would be taking a punt on a World Cup winner with 31 France caps.
Lenglet has played a whole lot more football than Umtiti over the past few years, but he slipped down the pecking order under Xavi this season. The 26-year-old may be less of a gamble than his out-of-favour team-mate, but big wages could put Arsenal off any potential deal.
In midfield, Barca are supposedly looking to offload Miralem Pjanic, who has spent the past season on loan at Besiktas. Another player whose career has nosedived in recent years, going after him would be a gamble for the Gunners, but he can boast fruitful spells at Juventus and Roma on his CV.
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Finally, in what could shape up to be an Arsenal-bound clearance sale at the Camp Nou, Barca are expected to listen to offers for Memphis Depay. The Dutch forward only signed for La Blaugrana last summer and has put up respectable numbers since, but the scintillating form of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and the potential signing of Robert Lewandowski may leave him frozen out. The Gunners could then step in, given that Alexandre Lacazette’s imminent exit will leave them with just one recognised striker.
United’s vested interest lies in the potential sale of Frenkie de Jong. Barca’s financial situation could force them to consider bids for those they are willing to cash in on, and while they would be content to free up space in the squad, the competition for De Jong’s signature removes any ‘bargain’ element from the Red Devils’ perspective.
New boss Erik ten Hag has supposedly told the former Ajax midfielder that he is prepared to build United’s midfield around him if he snubs Champions League football to join his Premier League project in a deal worth £59m.
Leeds may be pleasantly surprised to find out that Xavi is willing to part ways with midfielder Riqui Puig. Granted, the club’s initial interest reportedly stemmed from Marcelo Bielsa’s time in charge, but his opinion still carries plenty of weight in Yorkshire and there are sure to be one or two considering the possibility of a cut-price deal for the diminutive 22-year-old, who was once tipped to be the next big thing in Catalonia.