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Barcelona Prep Sales to Align to Ernesto Valverde’s Wishes

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The team could be smaller than before and include more B-teamers

FC Barcelona v Levante - La Liga Santander Photo by Laurens Lindhout/Soccrates/Getty Images

FC Barcelona could be in for an unusually busy winter transfer window. Already, they’ve signed Philippe Coutinho. The return of Ousmane Dembélé is a bit like a new signing, because he played very little (due to injury) since he was signed. Yerry Mina’s capture seems close, as well.

But it’s not just who’s coming in, it’s who’s going out. Arda Turan, Gerard Deulofeu, Denis Suárez, André Gomes, Aleix Vidal, and Rafinha are all being rumored as due for possible exits.

Ernesto Valverde won’t miss Arda Turan, whom he has never picked to play, or Rafinha, who has not played yet under him due to a long-term injury.

Valverde also seems to want to use the B team’s José Arnaiz to the exclusion of Deulofeu. That, along with Dembélé’s return, could also spell the end for Vidal.

I suspect Valverde will keep one of Denis Suárez or André Gomes, but perhaps not both, now that Coutinho has come . Both are versatile though, so perhaps they could stay as Denis provides cover on the wing and Gomes can play as a defensive midfielder. If only one stays, the favorite at this point could be Gomes.ippe Coutinho

A beneficiary of the sale of one or both of that duo would be Carles Aleñá, another B team standout. Having a less congested midfield would give him more opportunities.

Interestingly, Turan, Deulofeu, Vidal, Rafinha and Denis Suárez are not in the squad for the match against Celta, but Arnaiz and Aleñá are. Could be telling.

One question is how quickly (and profitably) the club can discard the players during the winter transfer window. Some players were due to leave last summer but stayed on, for example, Turan.

Valverde has recently spoken of preferring a smaller squad, so he could keep everyone happy with minutes and use some B teamers as well.

Barcelona already had a big squad, and with the addition of two new signings plus the return from injury of another, some people will have to go.