Speculation stemming from the Spanish media today suggests that La Liga champions Barcelona are ready to include 7 members of Quique Setien’s squad in various swap deals this summer.
Concerning scenes at Barca
The last couple of months have proven somewhat chaotic at the Camp Nou.
Though football has of course been halted in Spain since March, drama has continued at an alarming rate behind the scenes at Barcelona.
In an absolute bolt from the blue, it was announced last month that 6 members of the Catalan giants’ board had come to the decision to step down.
Vice presidents Emili Rousand and Enrique Tombas were the key names, with directors Silvio Elias, Maria Teixidor, Josep Pont and Jordi Clasamiglia having followed suit.
A statement explaining the reasoning behind the walkout was subsequently forthcoming, with Tombas and co. having cited major concern regarding the leadership of controversial Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu, and the direction of the club moving forward:
‘We have reached this point by not being able to reverse the criteria and forms of management of the club in the face of the important challenges of the future and, especially, from the new post-pandemic scenario. We must also highlight our disenchantment with the unfortunate episode on social networks, known as ‘Barcagate’, which we learned about through the press.’
The drama did not stop there, though.
Incredibly, just hours after news of his resignation was made official, now-former vice-president Emili Rousand suggested in no uncertain terms that an unidentified member of staff at the Camp Nou had been making personal use of the club’s treasury.
During an interview with RAC1, Rousand was asked whether he felt as though someone has had their hand in the Blaugrana’s funds, to which the Barcelona-born businessman replied:
‘Sincerely, I think so. Who was it? I don’t think it was someone from the board. I don’t know who it was, but I can speculate.’
‘When you pay a million euros for something worth 100,000 euros, that could bring benefit to someone inside or outside the club. I don’t think it’s someone on the board but if there’s a discrepancy then it means someone is benefiting in an illicit way.’
Barcelona then quickly hit back with a statement of their own, in which the La Liga champions ‘categorically denied’ any form of corrupt activity, before hinting at imminent legal action against their former chief:
‘In the light of the serious and unfounded accusations made this morning by Mr. Emili Rousaud, ex institutional vice president at the Club, in different interviews with the media, FC Barcelona categorically denies any activity that can be described as corruption, therefore, reserves the right to any legal action that may correspond.’
📋 FC Barcelona statement https://t.co/70Vcg4Lyrs
— FC Barcelona (from 🏠) (@FCBarcelona) April 10, 2020
Barca shopping stars
The last couple of weeks, meanwhile, have seen reports mount that the widespread disarray in Catalunya is also set to have an imminent impact on Quique Setien’s squad.
As the failings of those in a position of power at Barcelona continue to pile up, it has been suggested by the likes of Spanish journalist Gerard Romero that almost all of the club’s players have been placed on the market.
Others have claimed that Lionel Messi, Frenkie de Jong and Marc-André ter Stegen are the only Blaugrana stars who can consider themselves safe as things stand.
And, as outlined above, a further insight has today been provided into the apparent summer plans of the transfer chiefs at the Camp Nou.
According to Diario Sport, Barca are currently shopping 7 of the club’s players as makeweights in potential swap deals.
The individuals in question are Nelson Semedo, Junior Firpo, Ivan Rakitic, Samuel Umtiti, Arturo Vidal, Carles Alena and Rafinha.
It is added that the Catalans are ready to listen to offers for all of Philippe Coutinho, Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele and Arthur, while Inter Milan hitman Lautaro Martinez remains the club’s top target.
The seven players Barcelona have chosen to be included in swap deals https://t.co/wCuITzctR8
— SPORT English (@Sport_EN) May 20, 2020
This article was edited by Josh Barker.