Barcelona is no Chelsea when it comes to loans, but there are those who play for other clubs while still under contract with the Blaugrana. Barça's Loan Army is comprised of four players, and with the season coming to a close, we look at their contract situations and Barça's plans for them in the summer.
Alen Halilovic (Sporting Gijón)
The Croatian wonderkid is certainly the most exciting of Barça's loanees. The 19-year-old made his Camp Nou debut when he faced Barça with Gijón last week, and he is about to finish a very productive debut season in La Liga. He was loaned to Sporting with a request from the Catalans to give him a fair amount of minutes. but Halilovic went on to become a team star and a fan-favorite, showcasing his amazing talent and potential.
But coach Luis Enrique and other Barça higher-ups have indicated they want to see Alen play one more season in the league on a bigger Spanish club before joining his parent club for good. Teams like Valencia, Sevilla and Villarreal have already made contact about bringing in the player either on a season-long loan or a transfer with a buy-back clause, and Halilovic looks set to be on one of those three teams next season.
Cristian Tello (FC Porto, Fiorentina)
Tello came through the academy during Pep Guardiola's days and had some good moments as a backup attacker, but was unable to establish himself under the multiple coaches who took over after Guardiola's departure. He wasn't part of Luis Enrique's plans and was sent on a two-season loan to FC Porto. He had an impressive first season, but struggled to earn playing time in the current campaign, and had his loan terminated by the Portuguese club.
Barça then agreed a deal with Serie A's Fiorentina, a place where Tello found a home. The 24-year-old is an important player off the bench for the Viola, and could even become a starter next season if starting strikers Ilicic and Kalinic are indeed leaving the club as the latest rumors suggest. Tello has an €8 million release clause on his current contract, and Fiorentina is willing to pay that fee to sign the forward on a permanent deal.
Alex Song (West Ham)
PRAISE THE LORD!!! After a successful first season on loan at West Ham United, the midfielder went back to the Hammers once again on loan, but unlike his debut campaign, he was not able to make any meaningful contribution under new coach Slaven Bilic, who has already told the Cameroon international he is not part of the plans for next season.
Song still has one year left on his Barça contract (somehow) and will definitely not return to Catalonia for the final 365 days of his deal. There is a small possibility his contract will be terminated, but Premier League clubs like Watford and Crystal Palace are interested in signing Song on a permanent deal, and he could stay in England after all.
Martín Montoya (Inter Milan, Real Bétis)
One of the hottest prospects coming out of La Masia had a tough time in the first team, struggling to become a viable option to Dani Alves, and after three seasons as a backup, he was sent away on loan this season. He was supposed to run out his Barça contract at Inter Milan, but failed to impress coach Roberto Mancini and was sent back to the Catalan club, who immediately found him a new team, Real Bétis. And for the first time, Montoya has found a home. He has had a constant run of games, and could even face Barça this Saturday. Bétis have already contacted Barça about extending the loan deal for another campaign, and that should happen with no issues.