Barcelona have been plunged into further crisis after La Liga president Javier Tebas revealed the club cannot sign players during the summer transfer window.
According to Tebas, the Catalan giants are currently on a budget of minus €200 million, so they are forbidden from bringing in any more players unless they can raise money through sales.
The ruling comes as a blow to the club and manager Xavi Hernandez, who was hoping to reinforce his squad with fresh faces next summer after a topsy-turvy campaign thus far.
Barca have been resilient in their efforts to keep some of their biggest stars at the club, but the Blaugranas may now be forced to cash in on some of their prized assets to compete in the summer market.
Xavi currently has a bloated squad with a plethora of options to choose from, especially in attack, so here are five stars we think the Spanish manager will need to sell this summer.
Frenkie De Jong
De Jong was at the centre of a transfer and contract tug-of-war with Barca last summer amid interest from clubs abroad.
Premier League duo Manchester United and Chelsea were hot on his heels last summer, and Barca wanted to sell to reduce their wage bill.
United had reached an agreement with Barca over a transfer fee, but despite the club’s legal threats against the player who refused to take a pay cut, De Jong remained a Barca player.
However, the Dutchman could be the first through the exit door next summer despite vehemently refusing to leave Spotify Camp Nou last summer.
Barca may hold out for offers of around €80m for the midfielder, but sounding out De Jong’s availability could revive interest from Man United, Liverpool and Bayern Munich.
The Spaniard may be sacrificed for the good of the club’s wage bill next summer after struggling to assert himself in Xavi’s first-team squad this season.
Torres joined Barca in January last year as an exciting prospect from Manchester City, but his time in Spain has not gone to plan.
The 23-year-old has started in just eight of his 20 league games this term, contributing just two goals. Despite Barca’s reluctance to see him leave, the club may be forced to cash in this summer.
Arsenal had a bid for the Spanish forward rejected last summer, but the Gunners could be tempted to return for his signature if Barca shows a willingness to sell.
The Brazilian has struggled to recapture the previous form that saw the Blaugranas splash an initial £50m to snap him up from Leeds United.
Raphinha is behind Ousmane Dembele in the pecking order after posting four goals in 22 league games – although he has started in just 12.
Just over a year after earning his dream move, the 26-year-old could once again be on the move. Premier League top four hopefuls Newcastle United have earmarked Raphinha as a priority target.
Barca will be keen to recoup some of their initial investment, and Newcastle could be willing to splash the cash on a player who could prove a statement signing by the Magpies.
Arsenal could also be in the mix after seeing a £62m offer for the Brazil international knocked back in January.
Kessie’s future has been subject to speculation almost since he landed in Spain, with several reports claiming that he could be on his way out of Barca due to a lack of game time.
The 26-year-old joined the Blaugranas on a free transfer from AC Milan as a Serie A champion, but he has failed to convince Xavi he deserves a starting spot in his debut campaign.
The Ivory Coast international midfielder has managed only four La Liga starts in 15 appearances but was impressive in Thursday night’s Classico.
Once touted as a promising young defender, Garcia has struggled to establish himself as a pivotal part of Barca’s backline and has been forced to accept a more rotational role.
The former Manchester City man has fallen below the likes of Andreas Christensen, Ronaldo Araujo, Jules Kounde, and even Marcos Alonso in the pecking order.
He has made just 13 league appearances this term and Xavi could be forced to sell, especially if a reasonable offer arrives next summer.
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