Joan Laporta’s announcement yesterday confirming that Ronald Koeman will continue as Barcelona coach next season will have a domino effect on the squad according to Mundo Deportivo. Players who accumulated few minutes last season will seek a departure, but others will stay with the backing of the club. Koeman has to work in conjunction with the sporting direction of the club to get the best out of Lionel Messi.
Miralem Pjanic has barely featured for Barcelona this season, and the club are thought to believe that an exit is the best option. The Premier League or Serie A beckons. Junior Firpo also looks to be on the move, with moves to England and Italy options as well as a possible trade with Valencia involving Jose Luis Gaya.
Matheus Fernandes has played just 17 minutes for Barcelona this season, but no clear suitors have emerged for his signature. Samuel Umtiti has already been informed that his future doesn’t lie at Camp Nou; although he’s reluctant to leave, most see his departure as inevitable. Sergi Roberto’s future is up in the air; Koeman values him, but the club won’t extend his contract. The veteran could be on his way.
Riqui Puig is a curious case. He’s shown flashes of brilliance, but Koeman has time and time again chosen not to play him. The club would prefer his continuity, but are willing to allow Koeman to make the final call. Francisco Trincao, signed last summer, featured intermittently last season. He could leave, but he also has the option of continuing. One thing for sure is that Laporta, already so active, won’t be shy in making deals.