Ernesto Valverde has barely got his feet under the table at the Nou Camp since being appointed as coach of the Catalan club but fans will expect him to operate quickly and efficiently in the transfer market this summer. Barcelona are aiming to bounce back from an underwhelming campaign and all eyes will be on the former Bilbao boss as he looks to strengthen the Blaugrana ahead of next season.
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It’s that time of the year! The summer months are always filled with transfer speculation and rumours surrounding a number of Europe’s top players. In a non-tournament year it keeps football fans occupied during those seemingly barren weeks and Barcelona are always one of the clubs linked with a number of stars.
The Catalan club missed out on the title on the final day of the season and were humbled by Juventus in the Champions League just weeks earlier. They did secure the Copa Del Rey with victory against mid-table Alaves but it was a largely disappointing campaign for the club. Ernesto Valverde has been parachuted in to help the side kick on and he’s set for a busy summer of wheeling and dealing.
Barcelona have plenty of spending power when it comes to recruiting and its hard to imagine any players turning down the chance to play for this historic club but they must act quickly in order to secure their primary targets.
One of those being tracked is Borussia Dortmund star Ousmane Dembele but the German club are asking for around £79m for their talented winger. The Frenchman would add an air of unpredictability to the side and the appeal of working wih fellow countryman Samuel Umtiti also appeals to the 20-year-old.
Marco Verratti is another being courted for a big money move to the club this summer. The midfield was an area of weakness last season with Xavi’s departure hitting hard and Andres Iniesta’s influence waning. Verratti is contracted until 2021 at PSG and a huge fee would be required to secure his services. He’s also been linked with a move to Juventus.
If the club are able to complete this transfer, their chances of wrestling back the title from Real Madrid would undoubtedly increase. They are currently joint favourites at 10/11 in the La Liga betting market for the title ahead of next season.
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Hector Bellerin is believed to be another target for the club with the Arsenal player identified as the man to fill a problem position for the club. After a difficult season at Arsenal, the Spaniard is believed to be keen on the move. He could force a move away from the North London club if they are unwilling to let him go.
Valverde is also keen to promote Marlon Santos to the first team next season.
The new boss needs to move quickly and start the club’s recruitment ahead of a tricky first season in charge. There were a number of under-performing players whose positions could be under threat, with the possibility of several new arrivals. With other clubs sniffing around some of Europe’s top talents, Barcelona must be swift if they hold any hope of landing their top targets.