Analysis: Joan Laporta stated that Barcelona could sell a forward this summer – so which one?

This summer is shaping up to be vitally important for Barcelona. The club’s precarious financial situation means that they are exceeding La Liga’s salary limit by €200m, which indicates that sales must be made in order for the club’s books to be balanced.

However, incomings will also be targeted, and president Joan Laporta has stated that Barca will look to sign a forward this summer. Brazilian teenager Vitor Roque has been heavily linked, and talks are reportedly progressing with Athletico Paranaense.

With an attacking player coming in, Laporta admitted that one could be sold in order to make way for a potential arrival. Robert Lewandowski will definitely stay, while Ousmane Dembele will almost certainly sign a new deal at Barcelona in the coming months to ensure his future.

As such, that leaves Ferran Torres, Raphinha and Ansu Fati as potential departures. All three have shown their worth at different times in their Barcelona careers, but none are likely to be considered regular starters when Lewandowski and Dembele return from injury.

Ansu Fati has had the most speculation surrounding his future in recent weeks. The 20-year-old was considered to be the next big thing when he graduated from La Masia aged 16, but a combination of lack of form and injury problems have stunted his developments.

However, there is still undeniably a player inside, and considering he is still so young, he has time on his side to come good for Barcelona, as long as patient is shown. Laporta indicated that will be the case, so it seems unlikely that Fati will depart. Furthermore, he is the only one of the three that can be considered as a natural left winger, which is a position that Barca are lacking in.

Ferran Torres has shown Xavi Hernandez his quality in recent weeks, namely in the games against Cadiz and Almeria, where he was arguably Barcelona’s best player in both. The 22-year-old was signed from Manchester United in last season’s winter transfer window, but has largely failed to make his mark since his arrival.

The problem for Torres (and Raphinha) is that their best position is undoubtedly on the right wing, which will be occupied by Dembele upon his return from injury. However, one will very likely be kept this summer in order to be a rotational option with the Frenchman, and considering Torres is younger than Raphinha and arguably has a higher ceiling, there’s a good chance that he stays.

However, Raphinha has certainly been the most valuable of the three to Barcelona this season. He scored the winner against Valencia on Sunday, and has stepped up since Dembele’s injury, although he has been inconsistent at times.

The Brazilian’s contribution to Barcelona this season has been key. After a shaky start to his career in Catalonia, he has shown his value in recent months, and it would be extremely harsh if he was the one shown the door in the summer.

There are arguments that can be made for all three staying at the club this summer, but it seems almost certain that at least one will leave Barcelona this summer. The trio will have their suitors in the upcoming transfer window, so for club officials, it could just be a case of accepting the best offer that they receive.

Tags Ansu Fati Barcelona Ferran Torres Joan Laporta La Liga Raphinha
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