The plans of Xavi, the Barça coach, for the return of the internationals

BarcelonaXavi Hernández will have all the staff at his disposal this Monday. After a first week of training on the way back to work, the Barça coach will now be able to count on all the pieces available with the return of the international footballers who had one more week off to have competed with their national teams. But, as has been the case for the last few summers at Barça, of the thirty or so players who will be present this Monday afternoon at the Ciutat Esportiva de Sant Joan Despí, the Barça club wants to get rid of a handful . In the same way, Xavi hopes to incorporate new pieces with the arrival of signings, operations that will have to wait for Joan Laporta to activate the second economic lever (during the second half of July). In total, nine internationals will join the work: Sergio Busquets, Eric Garcia, Gavi, Ferran Torres, Jordi Alba, Frenkie de Jong, Memphis Depay, Ronald Araujo and Martin Braithwaite.

The untouchables and those that take place

With the arrival of the Spanish internationals and Ronald Araujo, Xavi recovers six players who have their guaranteed place in the squad. Sergio Busquets is still untouchable for the Egarenco coach, although the Barça captain could live his last season at Barça. Consulted by ARA, the environment of the midfielder from Badia del Vallès remarks that, at the moment, he does not plan to extend his contract for another year (which expires at the end of this season). It is not a firm decision, but Busquets has other plans in mind – such as playing in the MLS – when he ends his relationship as a Barça player. He will turn 34 on Saturday and still has no substitute in the starting XI, although Xavi will try Nico in the pivot position, where the newcomer Kessié can also play, although his profile is different from the type of midfielder that the coach envisages. .

Until Marcos Alonso (Chelsea) arrives, Alba has no clear replacement. Eric Garcia does not start as a starter but, like Ferran Torres, he is one of the players who has Xavi’s endorsement. Gavi, who will renew from August 5, when he turns 18, and Araujo, renewed in April until 2026, are untouchable and one of the leaders of the generation of young people baptized as dream teen.

Open folders

Dutchman Frenkie de Jong and Memphis Depay, on the other hand, do not have a guaranteed place on the team. The midfielder, who has just made his home debut in Pedralbes, would like to continue as a Barça player, but from the noble offices of the Camp Nou he is seen more as a lever that as a mainstay of the team. “De Jong is not for sale unless that is a necessity,” President Laporta said publicly on Wednesday. If you want to stay, you will have to reduce a progressive contract that will go beyond 20 million euros per course. Xavi has him, but he would understand that he would be transferred. Of course, in exchange for a signing of guarantees that does not involve weakening the team. Bernardo Silva is an option he really likes, but his arrival would cost between 80 and 100 million euros, a fact that distances him from Barça no matter how much the Portuguese and his most direct family environment want to come to Barcelona.

As for Memphis, Dembélé’s continuity combined with the arrival of Raphinha from Leeds would push him to the exit, although the signing of the Brazilian represented by Deco must wait, at least, the activation of the second lever. The Dutchman has only one year left on his contract and since the end of last year the sports management has not ruled out selling him and trying to make money. Xavi does not see Memphis as a starter, but if he has it under his command, it is another tool that will make him go, as he showed in the final stretch of the last campaign, after the striker overcame some problems with injuries . The player, who came from the hand of Ronald Koeman, is confident of staying.

The discarded

The Danish international Martin Braithwaite has already been informed that he is not being counted on. His presence since the arrival of Xavi has been testimonial: he has only played 22 minutes, distributed in a league match against Osasuna in March (10 ‘) and also when he urgently entered the extra time against Athletic Club in the duel of the round of 16 of the Cup. Braithwaite, an emergency signing from Leganés for 18 million euros in February 2020, has two more years of contract with Barça, which the footballer has no problem exhausting. In no case does it enter Xavi’s plans, but finding a way out that satisfies all parties will not be easy.

However, the presence of the internationals is not expected in the first friendly of the preseason that Barça will play this Wednesday in the municipal of Olot.



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