Barcelona Sporting Director Deco struggling with pressure as limitations take their toll

Barcelona Sporting Director Deco has been in the job for less than a year, but already is finding out just how difficult the position is. The former agent and footballer is looking at a tough summer ahead, where he must fill several major gaps in the squad, but with no transfer budget to speak of.

With Barcelona out of the Champions League, Deco will accelerate matters regarding their plans for next season. Manager Xavi Hernandez is on his way out, and due to a lack of consensus on other options, combined with Barca Atletic’s good form, Rafael Marquez is now in prime position to take over. Marquez is a friend of Deco’s, and is the cheapest option available.

While in previous years Barcelona had always had at least two free agent signings wrapped up by this stage, the Blaugrana have not made any moves in part due to uncertainty over finances, but now things are clearly pointing towards a major sale.

Many see that sale as Ronald Araujo, who has been attracting interest from Bayern Munich and Premier League. It is noted that Deco’s views do not always coincide with those of President Joan Laporta and Vice-President Rafael Yuste, as per Relevo, or the ‘commitments’ that Laporta has made. The Uruguayan will likely be sold to fund in part deals to keep Joao Felix and Joao Cancelo, despite the fact the former is an impact substitute and the latter has been inconsistent this season.

That will in part cover their four needs: a right-back, a forward, a left winger and a pivot. Thereafter, Deco will have to consider sales for their returning loanees Eric Garcia, Pablo Torre, Ansu Fati, Sergino Dest, Clement Lenglet and Julian Araujo, as well as what to do with youngsters Mikayil Faye and Hector Fort.

Most concerning perhaps is that there are those close to Deco who already see him somewhat worn down by the role, and suggest he might be missing his much more relaxed life as an agent. The pressure of his job is described as ‘an electric chair’.

Ahead of a busy summer, Barcelona cannot afford many mishaps given their finances and their ability to manoeuver a title charge next season, in what is Deco’s first full season as Sporting Director, a role he is undertaking for the first time.

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