Two steps forward and one back has summed up Barcelona’s dealings over the past 18 months or so.
Just as culers believe their beloved club is turning a corner, another poor piece of business brings everyone crashing straight back down to earth.
Josep Maria Bartomeu really did a hatchet job on this grand old institution didn’t he?
News that Barcelona have all but agreed to sell Frenkie de Jong to Manchester United and a reunion with old Ajax boss, Erik ten Hag, will likely have been met with mixed feelings.
As has been discussed in this column on a few occasions previously, the Dutchman has flattered to deceive for long periods during his Camp Nou tenure.
His performances remind me of that old nursery rhyme; ‘‘When he’s good, he’s very, very good but when he’s bad, he’s horrid.”
Notwithstanding the inconsistency that hasn’t seen him fulfil his obvious potential at the club, he is still international class. On his day, he is world class. Just not often enough.
To be allowing him to leave for €65m however - whatever the mitigating circumstances are - is an absolute travesty.
It’s accepted that he hasn’t been quite the player expected, but to sell at a loss given his age and other variables…
If that weren’t bad enough, it appears that the likes of Martin Braithwaite and Miralem Pjanic are digging their heels in over a summer switch.
Like Samuel Umtiti before them, the duo look to be quite happy rinsing the club coffers whilst sat on the bench.
Can you blame them?
Clearly, from a financial perspective, they’ve little motivation to move on, but surely their professional pride dictates that they should go somewhere they are wanted and will, for all intents and purposes, play every week.
Sadly, that situation is all too symptomatic of where the club are at present.
Fighting like hell to keep their heads above water on and off the pitch, only to be dragged back down just when salvation seems close at hand.
At this point, losing Frenkie whilst appearing to be forced to hang on to Braithwaite, Pjanic et al is a reality check we didn’t need or want.
If the status quo remains, Messrs. Laporta and Hernandez will have it all to do just to ensure that Barca don’t have yet another wasted season.