Barcelona captain Lionel Messi celebrates scoring for Argentina, (c) Wikimedia Commons.

Barcelona eye five signings next summer as they plan for life post-Messi

Barcelona are looking to sign as many as five players to rebuild their squad and also cater to the probable departure of Messi.

Barcelona are in desperate need of an injection of fresh faces into their squad, regardless of whether or not Lionel Messi stays beyond his ongoing contract. Speaking of the Argentine and the current performances by the team, it is looking increasingly likely that the future of the 33-year-old lies away from Catalonia, with Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain hovering.

Even with Joan Laporta potentially arriving at the club ahead of next season as president, it remains to be seen whether Barca can afford to rebuild its squad within a short span of time. The club is weathering through bankruptcy and not to mention, losing their greatest and most profitable player is already looking like a costly prospect.

However, with Laporta at the helm, the Blaugrana enjoyed some of their glorious years and the 58-year-old presidential candidate remains optimistic about turning the club’s fortunes around within a trice. Diario GOL claims that Joan Laporta has as many as five potential signings in mind ahead of next summer.

With the defence looking leaky and carrying more deadweight than ever, Laporta has three primary targets for a new-look backline. Bayern Munich defender David Alaba is linked with a move to the Camp Nou, given that he is going to become a free agent at the end of the current season. His versatility will be a big plus, but wage demands may prove lofty.

Apart from the multidimensional full-back, Barca would be interested in landing Manchester City and Sevilla youngsters Eric Garcia and Jules Kounde, respectively. The former is a graduate of La Masia and has been linked with a move to the Camp Nou since a couple of months but to no avail as yet.

Garcia might sign in January itself as his contract at the Etihad Stadium expires in June 2021. However, signing Jules Kounde is easier said than done, keeping in mind the number of clubs interested in him. Manchester City already had an approach for him refuted in the summer, whereas some of Europe’s richest clubs may comfortably beat competition from Barca to land the Frenchman.

Barcelona’s midfield is nowhere close to its standard either and Sergio Busquets is the last player remaining from the golden trio. In a bid to replace him, Laporta will turn to Paris Saint-Germain maestro Marco Verratti. The Italian has been on the club’s radar since many years but a move at this point in time looks like a realistic prospect.

Verratti has fallen out of favour under Thomas Tuchel and his issues with fitness have only increased the gravity of his situation. Should the former Borussia Dortmund coach manage to stay at the club, PSG will be opened to selling the 28-year-old and Barca will surely be in a better position than ever to land their preferred choice.

Finally, in a bid to replace Messi, Joan Laporta will go for Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland. The mercurial marksman has been linked with a move to each of Europe’s best clubs at one point or another despite being in prominence for just over a year. Haaland has been in terrific form for club and country, so the hype around him is justified.

Mino Raiola, his agent, revealed that the player will only leave Borussia Dortmund out of ambition and not money. Hence, if Barcelona can offer him an interesting project, he might end up choosing them. Plus, the prospect of replacing Messi is obviously going to excite any player and especially one with as much potential and talent as Haaland.

Under Laporta, the Catalans will surely be heading to new heights and there seems to be an air of inevitability about the former president having another tenure at the club. Are you convinced with his plans for the club?