Barcelona have seen a crop of younger players emerge this season and are counting all their breakthrough stars in next season’s plans.
Barcelona are third in La Liga but remain in contention for the domestic double in Spain having already wrapped up the Copa del Rey last month. Ronald Koeman has done a fantastic job to turn the club’s fortunes, especially in the second half of the season, but it is clear that the Catalans need to rebuild in the summer.
Eric Garcia is one of the players the club will sign with an aim towards strengthening the backline. The Spaniard will leave Manchester City once the season ends and his arrival at the Camp Nou is inevitable. Garcia’s arrival will not be the only change in the defensive offing for Barca, as a few players from the backline will be offloaded as well.
According to Fabrizio Romano, Everton are interested in signing Ronald Araujo from the Blaugrana. The Uruguayan has had a breakthrough campaign with Barcelona, especially when Gerard Pique was recovering from a long-term injury and Clement Lenglet was not enjoying the best of forms.
The Toffees have had a memorable campaign so far and remain in contention for a Europa League spot for next season and are planning a further rebuild, through which Carlo Ancelotti hopes to steer them to the upper echelons of European football. Araujo is seen as a solid young signing, but Barca are not going to listen to offers for him this summer.
With a potential lack in opportunities next season, Araujo may prefer to leave in order to get regular minutes under his belt but Koeman in particular seems to have the youngster in his plans. As a matter of fact, the centre-back is one of La Masia’s best products in recent times and his involvement in Barcelona’s plans comes as no surprise.
Koeman although needs to get rid of a number of players in order to ease his club’s financial pressure and Samuel Umtiti could perhaps be one who leaves. The Frenchman has had numerous fitness woes since the World Cup and with the club having given up hope on his recovery of form, a parting of ways seems to be the best plausible option.
Besides Umtiti, it is possible that Barca will get rid of another defender, but that may be a very hard decision to make. While Lenglet and Pique exude experience in the big games, Araujo and Oscar Mingueza are homegrown products who have shown a superb potential. With Garcia arriving, which other defender should the club offload?