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How will Barcelona make room for Franck Kessie?

Midfield exits are needed

Franck Kessie of Ac Milan gestures during the Serie A match... Photo by Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images

Barcelona have reportedly already moved to strengthen their midfield ahead of the 2022-23 season, snapping up soon-to-be free agent Franck Kessie from AC Milan.

It’s been widely reported this week that the Ivorian has completed a medical, signed a four-year contract and will be paid around €6.5m a year at the Camp Nou.

The arrival of Kessie will mean Barca are overloaded with midfielders and exits will surely be needed during the summer.

Of course there are some names we can assume are going nowhere: Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong, and Pedri all look certain to stay along with Nico Gonzalez and Gavi.

All of which leaves three players who are looking increasingly likely to depart in the summer, starting with Riqui Puig.

The 22-year-old has made only one La Liga start this season and has openly admitted he’s not having the game time he wants at the Camp Nou. The only way to avoid spending another season on the bench seems to be a move away.

Puig isn’t the only homegrown talent who could be waving goodbye to the Camp Nou. Sergi Roberto’s future also looks increasingly uncertain with the veteran out of contract at the end of the season.

There have been whispers of interest from Atletico Madrid, MLS and Premier League clubs, while talk of restarting contract extension negotiations with Barca have gone very quiet. Roberto joined La Masia at the age of 14 but his time at the club appears to be almost up.

FC Barcelona v Dynamo Kyiv: Group G - UEFA Champions League Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images

The third midfielder to go looks set to be Miralem Pjanic. The former Juventus man is currently on loan at Besiktas and has spoken out about how he’s enjoying life in Turkey and would like to stay.

Pjanic took a pay cut before he left but is still contracted to Barcelona until the end of the 2023-24. Barca may be keen to offload the 31-year-old this summer, but the latest speculation has suggested Pjanic could spend another season on loan at Besiktas in 2022-23.