Analysis: Potential departure highlights hole in Barcelona strategy

Barcelona have been doing their level best to renew their squad in recent years, with various players being let go on favourable terms either the player or the team, as they try to clear space in the squad. This coming summer, the job looks far more likely to be focused on raising funds in order to maintain their current squad.

Likely to be on the exit ramp are returning loanees Clement Lenglet, Samuel Umtiti, Sergino Dest, Francisco Trincao and Alex Collado, who seem to have little chance of breaking into the first team.

A second group of youngsters find themselves in a curious position of potentially being of use to the first team, but also perhaps finding themselves used to bring in cash, such as Nico Gonzalez and Ez Abde on loan at Valencia and Osasuna respectively.

While not on loan, Inaki Pena belongs to that second group. The 24-year-old is the current back-up to Marc-Andre ter Stegen, and has little hope of making it as first-choice for some time. He was at least slated to play the Copa del Rey, but with Barcelona facing trickier games in the quarter-finals and semi-finals, Xavi Hernandez has opted for the German.

Pena was out on loan at Galatsaray for the second half of last season and showed he has plenty of quality in Turkey. As such, both Galatasaray and Fenerbahce are interested in Pena for the summer, according to Relevo. Previously he was linked to Real Betis, and Barcelona are supposedly keeping an eye on available goalkeepers this summer as a result.

Out of contract in the summer, Pena had agreed to renew with the club, but asked for extra time to make a decision from the club. He is set to make a decision in the coming weeks, having only played three times this season.

If Pena does leave for free it will highlight an area of improvement for Barcelona. With the likes of Ilias Akhomach and Victor Barbera likely to leave for free this summer from La Masia, Barcelona could do a significantly better job of making money off their products that they do not deem to be good enough for the first team.

Contract talks could have been addressed with the likes of Pena much sooner, and he has always been rated reasonably highly within Spanish football circles. With evidence of his ability on tape from last season, had Pena been in contract, Barcelona could potentially have made a decent sale on Pena.

Less so with the likes of Akhomach and Barbera, due to their level and age, but they too might have either developed more, or fetched something on the market. Allowing their young talent out for free is not an oversight that Barcelona can afford with their salary limit stretched so thinly.


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Tags Barcelona Fenerbahce Galatasaray Inaki Pena Real Betis
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