Amid talk over Ivan Rakitic’s uncertain future at Barcelona, it’s been suggested that Samuel Umtiti and Philippe Coutinho could also be at risk of leaving this summer.
The Catalan giants are enjoying another successful campaign thus far, as they boast a 10-point lead at the top of the La Liga table, have a Copa del Rey final to look forward to and remain in the hunt for the Champions League at the quarter-final stage.
That would suggest that coach Ernesto Valverde has struck a winning balance in his squad, and so any reinforcements shouldn’t necessarily mean that any key individuals will be sacrificed in the more immediate future.
However, according to ESPN, they’ve suggested that Rakitic could face the biggest question mark over his future at the Nou Camp, as while he awaits an improved contract from the Spanish giants, it’s noted that they aren’t expected to be particularly forthcoming with putting a new offer on the table.
That would certainly raise concern over whether or not the Croatian stalwart will remain, even though he continues to be a fundamental figure in Valverde’s side as he looks set to make over 50 appearances in a single campaign for the fifth straight year since joining Barcelona.
With his current deal running until 2021, there doesn’t seem to be a major rush for that new deal, but a refusal to offer new terms could force him to look elsewhere.
Meanwhile, the report ends with a suggestion from the same ESPN source at the club that one of Umtiti or Coutinho are also candidates to be shipped out, perhaps for very different reasons.
The Frenchman has been plagued by a knee injury this season, and so that could force Barca to look at other more reliable options, while Coutinho has been disappointing in his first full season with the La Liga champions.
Whether that should be enough to persuade them to sell is up for debate, but it seems as though a big-name exit at Barcelona could be a genuine possibility this summer.