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Now the serious business begins for Xavi at Barcelona

The time for talking is over…

FC Barcelona Training Session Photo by Urbanandsport/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Just like that the new campaign is just around the corner and pre-season is on the immediate horizon.

A friendly against Olot on Wednesday evening is Barca’s opening 90:minutes in the 2022/23 campaign, a pre-season run out that’s unlikely to tell us much other than what players Xavi is going to have available right off the bat.

With the likes of Aubameyang, Fati and Pedri fit and available, the game will certainly blow away the cobwebs, but by the time of the US tour, the make up of the squad could look very different indeed.

According to multiple reports, Leeds United are preparing to accept Barca’s bid for their star player, Raphinha.


The Catalans appear all in despite also looking to secure Ousmane Dembele on a two-year deal.

Add to that an imminent decision on Robert Lewandowski, and things are starting to get serious for Xavi and his backroom staff.

Lest we forget the two superb captures of Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen, who may even be followed by Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso. Did I also mention Jules Kounde yet?!

Secure all of those targets, and it will have been one hell of a transfer window for the club.

Frankly, after that, if Lady Luck shines on Barca, Xavi can’t afford to fail. The honeymoon period will well and truly be over and Joan Laporta wanting a sextuple will be more of an expectation than a pipe dream.

Clearly, the squad won’t be strong enough to complete that at this early stage of proceedings, but you’d feel that they would be well placed to win the league title at the very least.

FC Barcelona Unveil New Signing Andreas Christensen Photo by Urbanandsport/NurPhoto via Getty Images

There was a reasonable core of good players last season, and aside from one or two hangers that still need to be shifted, there will be a decent strengthening of the starting XI as well as the squad as a whole.

Teams will no longer be coming to Camp Nou dreaming of taking at least a point. With nothing to lose away from home too, we might see a return to the swashbuckling standards of 2008-2012.

When playing against Barca was like being smothered for 90 long minutes. Where the Blaugranes would score goals for fun and open teams up at will.

There will be periods of doubt and suffering of course, though with those additions named in mind, the strength in depth they will immediately hand Barca will be of obvious benefit.

This coming season really could be quite special.

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