Barcelona are returning from their preseason tour of the United States of America satisfied with their work and much the stronger, with Robert Lewandowski already with the team and Jules Kounde waiting for them back in Barcelona.
The squad at Xavi Hernandez’s disposal is still somewhat oversized however. Once Barcelona return to Catalonia, they will be able to count 30 first-team players.
“The majority know already if they will be used or not. Last year we suffered due to having a short squad. Now we need a deep squad, additionally it is a World Cup year.”
Most have their path clear though.
“I have decided on 99% [of them]. The majority of them know and we will speak with those who don’t in these two weeks.”
Frenkie de Jong may well find himself amongst that 1%, as Xavi admitted that he wasn’t sure if he was going to remain at Barcelona.
The Blaugrana did manage to move on one of their large squad on Saturday night though, Oscar Mingueza has completed a move to Celta Vigo. Xavi appreciated his attitude.
“I am happy for Oscar, he did not give us any problems. I hope that the rest can find a solution because they know they are not going to play.”
Barcelona find themselves in a curious situation. Having leant into the cachet and attractions that they can offer in order to lure some of the world’s top players to the club, it’s now working against them. Several players are reluctant to leave, as they may well believe that things can’t get better for them.