Memphis Depay was presented as a Barcelona player this afternoon, but the Catalan media took the opportunity of the presence of Joan Laporta and Mateu Alemany to glean insight into the future of several fringe players according to Diario Sport.
They were asked specifically about two of the most high-profile and obvious sacrificial lambs on the club’s books at this moment in time, Miralem Pjanic and Samuel Umtiti. Laporta and Alemany were transparent, revealing that their exits are being negotiated.
“Above all we respect our players,” Laporta said. “We do this by talking to them honestly, clearly and directly. They are two players who had little prominence last season but who have worked very well this pre-season.”
Alemany spoke along the same lines. “All Barcelona players know their own situation,” he said. “These two are prestigious and know the coach’s opinion and the possibilities they could have this season. With due respect, and with their agents, we’re running the rule over possibilities for letting them go. They’re the first ones interested because they want to be guaranteed to play wherever they go.”
Pjanic, 31, joined Barcelona last summer in a part-exchange deal with Juventus that saw Arthur head to Turin. He has 100 international appearances with Bosnia and Herzegovina under his belt, and before Juventus represented Roma, Lyon and Metz.
Umtiti, 27, was born in Cameroon but is a World Cup-winner with France. He broke through at Lyon before joining Barcelona the summer of Euro 2016, and has seen his career derailed by a series of debilitating injuries. He needs a fresh start.