The Hard Tackle takes a look at the latest transfer news surrounding struggling La Liga heavyweights Barcelona.
We are over a month into the 2021/22 season, and it looks like some of the pre-season predictions pertaining to several clubs are coming true. One such outfit are Barcelona, who have struggled to come out of the shadows of Lionel Messi and are a shell of the domineering unit they once were.
Sure, the Blaugrana have not lost any of their five La Liga games so far, only being beaten by Bayern Munich, as was widely expected. But they have now failed to win four of their last five games in all competitions, with this run including surprise draws against Granada and Cadiz at the end of largely listless performances.
So, it is hardly surprising that there is a lot of speculation surrounding Barcelona, both from the perspective of transfers as well as the future of Ronald Koeman, who seems to be walking a tightrope. On top of that, the Catalan giants’ financial woes continue to become more well documented by the day.
In this feature, though, we will be focusing solely on the latest transfer happenings surrounding FC Barcelona and with that in mind, The Hard Tackle presents the transfer roundup for the club.
Barcelona open to offloading Marc-Andre ter Stegen
This is a rumour that would have been deemed to be unthinkable just a year ago. However, things can change rapidly when you are at a club that is as unstable as Barcelona. We are talking about Marc-Andre ter Stegen, with Barcelona not averse to the prospect of cashing in on him, as per Spanish outlet Fichajes.
The report mentions that ter Stegen has suffered a dip in performance levels in the last couple of seasons, which is indeed true. However, the German international still remains a pivotal figure for Barcelona, and was once nearly as crucial as the great man Lionel Messi himself. In fact, it was only recently that ter Stegen proved to be the Blaugrana’s saving grace in the draw with Cadiz.
However, as it now turns out, Barcelona are open to offloading ter Stegen if an opportunity presents itself. It is hard to not wonder whether such a decision is a knockdown effect of the financial mess they are embroiled in, but it looks like the 29-year-old may well be on his way out of Camp Nou if things continue to go from bad to worse.
For the time being, Barcelona are also trying to judge whether they can find an able replacement for ter Stegen, who will be itching to prove his worth now. However, it remains to be seen if after over half a decade of being a critical member of the first-team squad, ter Stegen ends up leaving Barcelona.
Paulo Dybala on Barcelona radar
Bolstering the attacking unit is starting to become a priority for Barcelona, whose frontline has become appallingly profligate. Indeed, apart from Memphis Depay, there does not appear to be any fit forward who even has the potential of making an impact in the final third, with the return of Ansu Fati desperately awaited now.
So, as they continue to get linked with a raft of attacking players on a daily basis, a report by Spanish publication SPORT mentions Paulo Dybala as a potential target for next summer, with the Argentine potentially even becoming a free agent if he does not agree a new deal with Juventus.
Currently in the final year of his contract with the Bianconeri, the Argentine forward is in talks with the club over the terms of a renewal. However, if an agreement cannot be reached in due course, we could well see Barcelona making their move for a player who has often drawn a lot of comparisons with Lionel Messi.
The links with Dybala are not new, with the 27-year-old being a long-term target for Barcelona. However, any potential move is likely to hinge on Dybala’s decision over a renewal with Juventus, and it will be interesting to see if he ends up joining the Blaugrana next summer on a Bosman move.
Real Betis interested in Oscar Mingueza
Finally, we move on to a promising defender who could be on his way out of Barcelona in a future transfer window. The player in question is Oscar Mingueza, whose role at Camp Nou has reduced following some crucial transfer activity in the summer transfer window.
Indeed, the arrival of Eric Garcia has been detrimental to the fortunes of the 22-year-old, who has fallen behind Gerard Pique, Garcia and Ronald Araujo in the pecking order, right down to the level of Clement Lenglet and the forgotten Samuel Umtiti. So, it is hardly surprising that a report from Fichajes is claiming over the potential of a departure.
The report suggests that Mingueza has popped up on the radar of Real Betis, who are in the market for a central defender, with Luiz Felipe and Pablo Mari on their shortlist as well. However, an exit from Barcelona is not set in stone yet for Mingueza, whose future will depend on the next manager coming in to the club, with Ronald Koeman facing an uncertain future. Mingueza’s future will also be intriguing to witness.