By Barcelona’s high standards, last season was a disappointment.
The Blaugrana were beaten by Real Madrid in the La Liga title race and also had to sit and watch their Spanish rivals lift the Champions League trophy.
The lone positive in Luis Enrique’s final season at the Camp Nou was their success in the Copa del Rey. But, of the three major trophies on offer to Barca each season, they ended up with the least fanciful one.
An entire overhaul isn’t necessary but changes have to be made. The arrival of Ernesto Valverde as Enrique’s replacement signals the first in what is likely to be a summer filled with incomings.
Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin has been heavily linked with a move to Spain, with Sergi Roberto and Aleix Vidal failing to establish themselves as elite right-backs.
And Bellerin, who came through Barca’s academy, recently admitted that it’s “nice” to know he’s wanted by one of the biggest clubs in the world.
“Things have gone well and now hearing this type of news about Barca is something which makes me happy, but it doesn't depend on me,” Bellerin told Mundo Deportivo.
"It's nice to know of interest from a club like Barca, the club where I grew up from a young age. For the moment I don't know anything, I'm an Arsenal player and we will see what happens."
Denis Suarez: 'Bellerin is in two minds'
Denis Suarez, Bellerin’s Spain Under-21 teammate, has spoken to the Arsenal man and says he’s in two minds about his future.
"I have spoken with him, and on the one hand he's keen to come and on the other he feels tied to Arsenal -- I hope he can come," Suarez told Mundo.
Barca also want Verratti
Another player on Barcelona’s radar is Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti.
The Italian is keen on a move to Barca but the French club, unsurprisingly, do not wish to sell.
Rumours linking Verratti with the Blaugrana intensified on Wednesday night when it was reported that the 24-year-old had dinner with Lionel Messi in Ibiza.
Claims Verratti and Messi had dinner
According to COPE - as brought to our attention by Sport - the meeting was set up by Javier Pastore, who plays with Verratti at club level and with Messi for Argentina.
Verratti and Messi are both currently holidaying in Ibiza and it is claimed by COPE that they ate together with Pastore - sparking speculation that Messi is getting involved in Verratti’s potential move.
Mundo claim the meeting didn't happen
But according to Mundo Deportivo, such a meeting didn’t take place. While Pastore and Verratti were together, Messi was not.
So the five-time Ballon d’Or winner isn’t trying his hand at negotiating transfers, then.
The Spanish outlet also claim that Verratti’s price tag could reach €100 million.
Is Marco Verratti €100m? Let us know in the comments section below!
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