Barcelona have a list of players they would consider getting rid of to raise funds for spending this summer, and chief among those being mentioned regularly is Nelson Semedo.
Unlike some of the big names on massive wages (Philippe Coutinho), or some of the younger flops (Ousmane Dembele), or the older veterans (Luis Suarez), Semedo has a been a solid regular for Barcelona, and is still absolutely in his prime.
That means he’s worth a decent sum, and interests other top teams. That makes him a valuable asset to the Blaugrana, and one they may well need to cash in on.
Mundo Deportivo say on their front page today that he’s the “key piece” of several moves, including the by now well-trodden Lautaro Martinez rumours, and the potential attempts to sign Joao Cancelo from Man City or even the rather fanciful attempts to sign Neymar from PSG.
All of these moves would require more capital than Barcelona have available to them right now, and while they do have a stable of squad players they can shed for some spending money, few of them are as in demand as Semedo.
That should also come as a warning to Barcelona however. There is a reason the Portugal international is interesting other teams, and they should be extremely cautious about selling him.
He may not have been spectacular, but he’s been solid, and they would be selling the only natural right back in their squad.
That seems a serious risk, no matter how much faith they have in Sergi Roberto or the other options they could potentially deploy in that area. They co-own Emerson Royal with Real Betis, but even he is now being linked with money-making moves elsewhere.
Selling a solid regular defender to fund just a chunk of a highly paid attack seems an idea typical of the kind of poor planning that has ruined Barcelona’s attempts to establish themselves as a dominant European side again.
Of course Cancelo can play in the same position – but one would have to wonder what would drive that exchange of full backs with a team that are already far ahead of them under the control of their former manager Pep Guardiola.
Barcelona’s focus should be on improving their defence and midfield, and getting the best out of players like Coutinho, Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele. Upgrades are needed in the front three without question, but selling off your roof to buy a floor seems a short-sighted strategy.
Patience, and making sure they’re one of the teams who are able to benefit relatively from this summer’s stunted window, will be this team’s fastest route back to the top, not stripping away the less flashy parts of the team to fund moves for the biggest names on the market.