Sergio Aguero has already joined while Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum are next on the list as Barcelona’s much-needed rebuild starts to take shape… so, with Ronald Koeman now blessed with options, how could they line up next season?
- Barcelona are in the midst of a busy summer with several new signings expected
- Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia have already arrived on free transfers this month
- The arrivals of Georginio Wijnaldum and Memphis Depay also look imminent
- All the new additions mean that Barcelona’s line-up may look different next year
- Here, Sportsmail has put together the potential XI as the club target glory again
It’ll be a very different Barcelona team that looks to take on the world once again next season. A shrewd summer of rebuilding – and keeping Lionel Messi, of course – will go a long way to restoring their currently battered reputation.
It has been reported that Ronald Koeman looks set to stay in charge, a surprising move but one which will also help push through a couple of targets the club have kept a keen eye on in recent weeks.
Sergio Aguero has already arrived, and he is certain to neatly slot into that No 9 role at the Nou Camp. Eric Garcia, a promising young defender, also joined from Manchester City and will head straight into the first-team.
Sergio Aguero is Barcelona’s big-name signing with the club in the midst of a busy window
Eric Garcia (right) has also joined Barcelona with Joan Laporta (left) promising more additions
The signings of Georginio Wijnaldum and Memphis Depay, both of whom are free agents, also look likely to be wrapped up shortly. As a result of Barcelona’s dire financial situation, they have aimed to recruit good players on the cheap.
And they don’t plan to stop here, either, according to president Joan Laporta. Hailing this window as a ‘cycle’ coming to an end, he promised big changes across the board with the club savaged for underperforming.
‘There will be more presentations of players, we’re working on it,’ Laporta said at the press conference for Garcia’s official unveiling.
Ronald Koeman looks set to stay in charge after a tough season and his team will look different
‘We’re working to sign players that improve the first team. We need to balance the squad, you will see what we’re working on. Next week there will be more news.’
Two of those will indeed be Wijnaldum and Depay, but Barcelona may not even stop there. With a quality starting line-up and plenty of depth on the bench in mind, there is still plenty of work for the hierarchy to do for next year.
Here, Sportsmail has taken a look at how the Catalan giants may line up after the summer, with their new additions in mind…
FORMATION – 4-3-3
Marc-Andre ter Stegen
There are doubts held at the club over his fitness, but Ter Stegen will remain Barcelona’s undisputed No 1 choice between the sticks.
Despite the speculation surrounding a move for Gianluigi Donnarumma, a free agent after his AC Milan departure, Ter Stegen more often than not is a reliable performer.
He endured a difficult recent season, admittedly, due to injuries and several glaring errors, but Ter Stegen will keep his spot for the start of the next campaign.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen is likely to stay as Barcelona first-choice goalkeeper for next campaign
His first term at Barcelona was a testing one. Dest joined from Ajax and has made 41 appearances to date.
In those showings, his potential has been evident. Unfortunately, his rawness and lapses in judgement have somewhat marred his hopes of holding down his spot.
Barcelona have also announced the arrival of Emerson, another right-sided defender who will push Dest. The competition will only be good for him.
The fact that a buyout clause of €400m (£343m) has been included in Garcia’s contract at Barcelona says it all. They have very, very high hopes for him.
Garcia began his youth career in their academy and joined Manchester City in 2017, who he played for at senior level 35 times.
He has now returned to the Nou Camp, having made his desire to head back clear for well over a year, and looks set to go straight into Barcelona’s three-man backline.
Garcia’s contract contains a £343m buyout clause and is tipped for a bright future in Spain
A Barcelona veteran, Pique will survive the chopping block this summer and look to lift more trophies with the club during his waning years there.
He is quite simply a club legend, having joined in 2008 from Manchester United and gone on to win LaLiga eight times and the Champions League on three occasions.
Pique may not be the reliable and mistake-free defender he once was, but his experience and undying passion will help Barcelona in their quest to reach the top.
It has been claimed that Barcelona are keen to overhaul their left wing entirely during the upcoming window – and that places Alba at risk of being axed.
Alba, just like Pique, is one of the club’s old guard and has also tasted his fair share of silverware success throughout his memorable stay at the Nou Camp.
His understudy, Junior Firpo, looks set to leave and Barcelona haven’t been linked with a replacement as of yet, making Alba the only current viable option.
Jordi Alba finds himself at risk of the axe at Barcelona but is likely to keep his spot if he stays
The second youngest Barcelona to make 50 appearances, Pedri is a special talent and, at just 18, has the world at his feet.
He enjoyed a sensational debut season for the club and as a result, has already made his senior international debut and earned a call-up to Spain’s Euro 2020 squad.
Despite facing competition from old boy Sergio Busquets for this spot, Pedri will likely get the nod. He’s revered by the Barcelona supporters, and rightly so.
Frenkie de Jong
De Jong certainly endured a shaky start at Barcelona but he has gone on to excel under Koeman. Now, he truly looks at home.
The silky Holland international thrives in a more advanced role, and his pure ability when on the ball was a big part in many of the team’s goals last season.
He is also versatile, having played at centre back when called upon, and his seven goals and eight assists last term underline his importance.
Frenkie de Jong flourished at Barcelona last season and will be a key performer going forward
Having left Liverpool as a free agent this summer, Wijnaldum may very well find himself lining up in the heart of Barcelona’s midfield next to compatriot De Jong.
Discussions between Wijnaldum and his potential new club are continuing, but all indications point to that deal officially getting over the line soon.
With Sergio Busquets in the firing line and Miralem Pjanic evidently not fancied by Koeman, Wijnaldum has a strong chance of becoming a starter right off the bat.
Georginio Wijnaldum (L) looks set to join Barcelona on a free transfer and will slot into midfield
What a turnaround this has been from Messi and also from Barcelona. At one stage, it looked a nailed-on certainty that the disgruntled superstar would choose to leave.
Now, it is widely believed that he will put pen to paper on a new two-year deal, a sharp U-turn from his previous attempts to broker an exit at the start of the season.
Quite simply, Messi is a magical watch, with his grace and wand-like feet still just as brilliant as ever. With him in the team, Barcelona will always be a force.
Lionel Messi has reportedly agreed to stay at the Nou Camp and will want to win more trophies
Barcelona have been crying out for an out-and-out No 9 you can hang your hat on after bizarrely letting Luis Suarez join Atletico and help them become champions.
Aguero may prove to be that man. Having found himself on the fringes at City more often than he would like, the 33-year-old pounced when Barcelona came calling.
The burden on him will be high, and his connection with Messi on the field for Argentina has been found wanting, but Aguero guarantees goals. It’s that simple.
Lyon forward Depay came close to joining Barcelona last summer, and has seemingly been forced to wait 12 months to finally get the move done.
Having bounced back from his Manchester United disappointment in Ligue 1, Depay will be keen to showcase his obvious ability under the Nou Camp lights next.
He will face competition for his position, of course, but Depay is certain to form a lethal attacking trident with Messi and Aguero.
Memphis Depay is another free agent seemingly destined for Barcelona after his Lyon exit
Griezmann may find himself axed this summer – but if he does stay, then he will look to start the new season in the same form he ended the last in.
Cruelly, Fati started the campaign in electric form but saw his progress shudder to a halt due to a serious knee problem. When he recovers, he will look to impress again.
Ansu Fati had hit the ground running last season but a serious knee problem saw him sidelined
Formerly of Barcelona B, Araujo found himself promoted into the first-team set-up. He performed admirably and will likely stay around the squad next year.
Another new arrival during a busy period for Barcelona, the talented Emerson will provide Dest with some stern competition on the right side of defence.
Restricted to just 19 LaLiga appearances last season, Pjanic is not happy with his situation at Barcelona. Provided he stays, he will look to prove his worth.
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