x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Plenty of turnover should make headlines at Barcelona this summer

Expect lots of incoming and outgoing from Camp Nou this summer as big changes are needed if Barcelona are going to retain the league and challenge in Europe, writes Andy Mitten.

Brazilian forward Neymar is one of the many rising stars Barcelona will try to sign this summer as the club looks to build on their Serie A title. Martin Bernetti / AP Photo
Brazilian forward Neymar is one of the many rising stars Barcelona will try to sign this summer as the club looks to build on their Serie A title. Martin Bernetti / AP Photo

Barcelona will buy several players in the summer.

The 7-0 aggregate hammering by Bayern Munich in the Uefa Champions League semi-final was a sobering experience for many at the club, who thought Lionel Messi could carry them through, even against their strongest foes.

Barcelona did not spend enough last summer. Had they been prepared to introduce youngsters into the first team and play them every week it would have been understandable, but they did not.

Alex Song was a second-choice addition, and they played him out of position. Their failure to buy a central defender was compounded by injuries to defenders at several points in the season, and exacted a heavy price. Gerard Pique's form also worried fans.

The Brazilian defender Thiago Silva of Paris St Germain is the priority for Barca. His compatriot, the Santos striker Neymar, has long been a target; they want him now to play up front alongside Messi.

Dortmund's IlkayGundogan is another player coveted by the coach Tito Vilanova, and Malaga's playmaker Isco.

Further signings are possible, including a goalkeeper. Two or three B team players will be promoted, with the 18-year-old Catalan striker Gerard Deulofeu the most promising. The incoming players will leave Barca's squad top-heavy.

Expect lots of outgoing from Camp Nou, with the future of Cesc Fabregas not certain after a big dip in form. Big changes are needed if Barca are going to retain the league and challenge in Europe.

They will come.

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