Umtiti, Coutinho out as FC Barcelona set for massive overhaul
The first reactions from Barcelona’s front office are in following the team’s unbelievable exit from the UEFA Champions League, reports livesoccertv.com.
While it is not time to speed up any of these moves, some players might not feel as certain about their future with the Blaugrana side following that appalling game.
According to a report by As, the Catalan giants are set to experiment a massive overhaul in the upcoming transfer window. The Blaugrana side is set to transfer up to five players away from Camp Nou stadium, with three of those being considered as a lock.
The first name on Barcelona’s transfer list is none other than Philippe Coutinho. The Brazilian footballer is the most expensive transfer in team history, but he has failed to impress during his spell at Camp Nou.
Added to that, he has complained about how fans have turned their backs on him, with his gesture during the UEFA Champions League match against Manchester United as an example. Premier League clubs seem to be his potential destination.
Croatian midfielder, Ivan Rakitic is next in line to leave the club. The former Sevilla footballer seems to have aged overnight, and his baffling performance against Liverpool had fans asking for his transfer.
Italian teams such as Juventus and Inter have been linked to the player’s future, and contract negotiations could speed up once the season comes to an end.
One more player set to be offloaded is Samuel Umtiti, who fell down the pecking order due to his frequent knee problems.
Barcelona officers did not like the stance taken by the French center back, when he decided not to undergo surgery prior to the 2018 FIFA World Cup to play for his country.
This decision came back to haunt the defender, who has struggled to be fit all year long. Manchester United and a couple more European teams have reportedly shown interest in signing the player.
Last, but not least, Malcom’s name is also included in Barcelona’s transfer list. The elusive wingman has failed to make an impact at Camp Nou, and the idea of shipping him away while he still has some market value is tempting to some Barcelona officers. Serie A and Ligue 1 clubs have shown interest in his services.
But those names are not the only ones included in Barcelona’s major overhaul. Goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen, Thomas Vermaelen, Rafinha Alcántara and Denis Suárez are also set to leave the club.
Furthermore, the club has already told Kevin Prince-Boateng and Jeison Murillo that their loan deals will not be made permanent, which means that they will have to return to their parent clubs.
With such a massive overhaul, the future of coach Ernesto Valverde is also at stake. According to ESPN, the tactician will leave the club by the end of the season, since he bottled two three-goal leads in the consecutive editions of the UEFA Champions League.
There are no main options to take over as Blaugrana boss at the moment, according to the American sports network.
That being said, it seems that the two top teams in Spain will be quite busy in the upcoming transfer window.