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Barcelona show they’ve learnt transfer window lessons from last summer

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New Barcelona Signing Philippe Coutinho Unveiled Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

When the summer 2017 transfer window slammed shut, Barcelona were left pretty red-faced having tried and failed to land a host of top players and then seeing star man Neymar depart.

Barca started off trying to sign Marco Verratti from Paris Saint-Germain, moved on to Philippe Coutinho and Jean Michael Seri and yet couldn’t lure any of them to Camp Nou.

Of course they did manage to sign Ousmane Dembele, but even that was not a smooth process, the youngster effectively going on strike before joining for a massive €105 million.

Dembélé new FC Barcelona player Photo by Miquel Llop/NurPhoto via Getty Images

And then there was Neymar who signed for PSG after they activated his €222 million release clause, leaving Barcelona powerless to prevent his departure.

There was plenty more going on behind the scenes too, Lionel Messi’s new contract remained unsigned, despite the club having announced the deal and as such Barca headed into the new season amid a chorus of disapproval.

Under new manager Ernesto Valverde, the team have managed to flourish on the pitch and fast forwards a few months and the club are enjoying a far more successful transfer window.

Barcelona have not just done the business, they have got it done early with Coutinho announced on 6th January and Yerry Mina confirmed just five days later.

New Barcelona Signing Yerry Mina Unveiled Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Swiftly after that Barca confirmed that Arda Turan had gone out on loan to Istanbul Basaksehir. The Turkish side will pay his wages but Barca still retain an option to sell him.

Rafinha has also gone out on loan to Inter, and even that could become a permanent deal to the tune of €38m if he impresses at San Siro between now and the end of the season.

There could still be further departures which would trim the wage bill even further. Javier Mascherano is expected to move to China, Aleix Vidal has been linked with Sevilla while Gerard Deulofeu has been rumored with a move back to Serie A.

UEFA Champions League'FC Barcelona v Olympiacos'

And the club have also got down to business by getting their key men to renew, with more attention given to release clauses. Andres Iniesta was handed a lifetime contract in October and Messi finally put pen to paper on a new deal in November, with a release clause of €700m.

The good news has kept on coming in January too, Gerard Pique signed on with a release clause of €500m the same figure as Sergi Roberto who has extended his contract until 2022. Samuel Umtiti is expected to be the next star to sign on the dotted line.

As such, Barcelona head into the second half of the season with the squad strengthened and in pretty good shape both on and off the pitch. Signings have been made, renewals completed and lessons seemingly learnt from a crazy summer.