Barcelona’s season ended on Sunday. The Blaugrana blew a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 to Celta Vigo at home and officially end their mathematical chance of winning La Liga, serving as an opportunity for the newly-elected president Joan Laporta to clear the decks and plan for next season and a new era. Gone is a season tainted by Josep Maria Bartomeu, arrived is an open window for Laporta to build his Barcelona.
There are two pressing issues to be resolved according to Marca; the coach and the captain. Laporta needs to make a decision on whether Ronald Koeman will continue as Barcelona coach next season and communicate it. The Dutchman has one year left on his current deal, but the word on the street in Catalonia is that his position is under threat.
Laporta must also offer Lionel Messi an economic and sporting proposal that entices the Argentine to commit his future to the club. Once his future is cleared up, Laporta will have the basis from which to build a new team; Eric Garcia should arrive on a free transfer this summer while so too could Memphis Depay, although the latter’s signing is dependent on whether Koeman continues or not. Similarly, Sergio Aguero is expected to join on a free transfer if Messi decides to stay.
Aside from those three key names, other arrivals are expected. A centre forward is desired, with Alexander Isak’s name on the table. So too is a central midfielder, with Gini Wijnaldum identified as an option. In the midst of all this, the club will also have to shift deadwood off their books to free up funds in a difficult market. It’s time for Laporta, so lauded in his first spell at the club, to work his magic.