It’s an open secret that Barcelona are looking to sell just about anyone from the first-team bar Lionel Messi and Marc-Andre ter Stegen, meaning that, at this point, everyone is up for grabs.
A truly astonishing situation, in that although every team needs to evolve season by season to some extent, there can’t have ever been another transfer window when virtually a whole squad has been placed on the list.
Such desperate measures speaks of incredibly poor succession planning from the powers that be, and their perceived lack of business nous has now been highlighted further by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Simply put, Barca have to bring in some serious cash just to balance the books.
Signing Lautaro Martinez doesn’t appear to be in line with that theory but there’s a story for another day.
In the meantime, the Blaugranes will be looking nervously over their shoulders, and even Clement Lenglet, who has been rock solid for the most part since signing from Sevilla, has gone on record to say he’s ‘hopeful’ of staying.
Here’s a defender that came in and took his chance with both hands, deservedly displacing Samuel Umtiti in the process.
“You never really know what the future will be like when you are a football player,” Lenglet said this week, a statement that’s ostensibly correct.
“But I hope to be at Barcelona next season, yes. It will necessarily depend on the transfer window, it’s a special period for clubs, and we are safe from nothing, but I hope to stay.”
Special period or not, the club simply cannot countenance selling a central defender of such quality. Like many other decisions that have been made in the recent past, it would be entirely counter productive.
Umtiti, on the other hand...
Let’s be honest, when Big Sam came to the club, it was a real coup.
A titan at the heart of the defence, he was exactly what Barca were lacking and, very possibly, was the best centre-back in La Liga during his first 12 months at the club.
Since his injury, he’s been nowhere close to that sort of form.
The manner in which he dealt with his recovery from the injury has been a thorny issue, but that shouldn’t be held against him. If he genuinely believed that a more holistic way of achieving fitness was the way to go, fair play to him for sticking to his guns.
However, by the same token he must be judged by what he does on the pitch, and he hasn’t been at the standard required for some while now.
He should still command a reasonable fee despite that, so if Barca really are intent on cashing in on anyone and everyone, then it’s au revoir to Umtiti as far as I’m concerned.