Barcelona were always going to struggle to replace Xavi and Iniesta, but there were a couple of different ways they could go about it.
They could focus on investing the time and money into potential successors, or they could simply sign as many players as possible in the hope that some would work out.
The current situation suggests they’ve plumped for the second option, with Sergio Busquets, Sergi Roberto, Ivan Rakitic, Frenkie de Jong, Miralem Pjanic, Arturo Vidal and Riqui Puig all set to be in the team next season.
On top of that they have a talented midfielder in their B team captain Monchu, and Carles Alena, Oriol Busquets and Rafinha Alcantara will all return from loan spells too.
They do need to strengthen in attack and defence, but having so many midfielders on the books suggests they need to get rid of some before they can buy.
An obvious contender to leave would be Ivan Rakitic – his legs are starting to go and there are better options in the squad, and a report from Mundo Deportivo has looked at the latest.
Sevilla have been heavily linked and it sounds like the player and the club would like to re-unite, but some quotes from their Sporting Director Monchi suggests it might not happen:
“Ivan is a player who by what he declares would like to return to Sevilla, today, tomorrow, two years from now…, it is evident. That I particularly wish that one day if things happened I could come back? I’m not hiding that he’s my friend. Will these possibilities be surrounded?”
“To this day I find it difficult, if not impossible. More difficult things have been seen. But in the very short term, that is, no more, I don’t see it. It’s so financially complicated I don’t see it, I don’t see it.”
It does sound like a move might be possible next summer when his contract expires, but Barca probably shouldn’t rely on this move if they want to free up wages for this season.