Barcelona’s first-team players will start their pre-season preparation on Monday, before traveling to the United States in mid-July. Xavi informed the players who are not part of his plans for the new season that they need to find a future elsewhere. A total of six members of the squad will be offloaded, according to Catalan paper Sport.
Samuel Umtiti, Clement Lenglet, Moussa Wague, Oscar Mingueza, Neto, and Riqui Puig are those Xavi is not counting on for next season. Lenglet is set to join Tottenham on loan, while Mingueza and Umititi have alternatives in France and Italy. The other three players are yet to receive proposals.
Umtiti impressed during his first two seasons at Barcelona, but injuries and a series of modest outings have placed him out of favor at Camp Nou. The 28-year-old played a single game last season, after featuring 16 and 18 times respectively in the previous two campaigns. He was a target for Jose Mourinho at Manchester United in 2018, with Barcelona afraid back then that they could lose him for “as little as $70 million”. Right now, his market value has plunged dramatically, with Rennes in the French Ligue 1 as Umtiti’s most probable destination.
Who’s joining Barcelona this summer?
Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen will both become FC Barcelona players in the following days. Kessie ended his commitment with AC Milan on 30 June, with Christensen also joining on a free transfer after leaving Chelsea last month. Barcelona’s focus right now is to add some fantasy to the attacking line. Leeds United’s Raphinha and Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva are the two top transfer targets at the club.
FC Barcelona is kicking off its pre-season campaign against Unio Esportiva Olot on 13 July. Xavi’s men then travel to the US, where they’ll play four games. Barcelona will first meet Inter Miami to warm up for El Clasico in Las Vegas against Real Madrid. The Blaugrana will also play Juventus and New York Red Bulls before returning home. This year’s El Clasico in Las Vegas (played on 24 July) will be the second-ever on US soil. In 2017, the two La Liga rivals faced off at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami in front of a sold-out crowd of 64k people. Barcelona won the clash 3-2 thanks to goals from Leo Messi, Ivan Rakitic, and Gerard Pique.
Barcelona will contest the Gamper Trophy on 6 August at Camp Nou, before hosting Rayo Vallecano on the first day of the new Spanish season. After finishing the previous campaign in second place, 13 points behind Real Madrid, Barcelona aims to reconquer the La Liga crown. The bookies have Real Madrid as favorites to defend their title at +120, with Barcelona now at +150. Odds suggest bookmakers are expecting a tight title race in Spain this season, with the two giants unbothered by Atletico Madrid (+400) or Sevilla (+2000).