Valverde to oversee Barcelona exodus

Arda Turan

With the new La Liga season just weeks away from kicking off – sides are making their final adjustments to their squads ahead of the start on August 18th.

Defending champions Barcelona have already completed the signings of Arthur Melo and Clement Lenglet, with midfield duo Andres Iniesta and Paulinho exiting the club.

Despite losing two important players, manager Ernesto Valverde is likely to trim his squad down even further – as he looks to free up space and funds to sign new players.

Rumours are circulating that up to ten first team players could be set to leave the club, as they seek more playing time and the Catalan side look to move forward with transfer targets.

Those most likely to be allowed to leave include – Lucas Digne, Thomas Vermaelen and Arda Turan – with interest from across Europe expected.

Digne’s time at Barcelona has been injury disrupted – making just 22 La Liga starts since his switch from PSG at the start of the 2016-17 campaign.

Alongside this, he has found it very difficult to displace regular first choice left back Jordi Alba, who was written off too early.

Everton are reported to be interested in the French international, but his future is likely to be linked to that of Vermaelen.

Both players have generally been used as a stand in for Alba, when he has been injured, with Belgian international Vermaelen seeing some action at his preferred position of centre back.

Valverde will let one of them leave, with no immediate plans to sign a replacement for Alba, and given Vermaelen’s lengthier injury problems – Digne will probably be first in the queue.

Valverde will also want to avoid a situation similar to that of last season – when after selling Jeremy Mathieu – Barcelona were short of experience in defence, and Vermealen offers greater experience.

Turan has had a bizarre stint at the Nou Camp, after his much heralded signing from Atletico Madrid in July 2015.

A key man with Atleti, he was banned from playing for the first six months at Barcelona, due to their transfer ban.

However during two and a half seasons, he has started 33 games in all competitions, as he struggled to break into Barcelona’s all star attack.

He has also had his injury problems, but the strongest sensation is that is that the move was just not right for him.

Atleti have moved on since his departure, but at 31, he still offers quality and a goal threat from midfield, and could be tempted to make a move.

The major issue for Turan is that his still has 13 games to run on a 16 game ban for pushing a referee during a loan spell at Istanbul Buyuk in 2017-18 – meaning that whatever deal Barcelona strike, may involve them paying his wages until the end of 2018.

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