Things just aren’t quite clicking at the Camp Nou this season.
Barcelona may have won their opening four league matches but haven’t done so since, drawing with Girona, Athletic Bilbao and Valencia, while they lost to Leganes.
But what is the problem?
Of course, Andres Iniesta leaving for Japan in the summer may have something to do with it.
Replacing such a legendary player like Iniesta is an impossible task.
But Barca may need to replace a few more players in the coming years.
Many senior stars are reaching the latter stages of their career with the likes Lionel Messi (31), Arturo Vidal (31), Gerard Pique (31), Sergio Busquets (30), Luis Suarez (31) and Ivan Rakitic (31) only having a few years left at the peak of their powers.
As a result, the Catalan club are already looking to replace them.
In fact, according to Spanish outlet AS, there are 14 players on their radar.
Here is the list Eric Abidal and Ramon Planes have drawn up, under the tutelage of Pep Segura.
BARCA'S LIST OF 14 TRANSFER TARGETS
Koen Casteels | Goalkeeper | 26-years-old | Wolfsburg | €6 million
Jasper Cillessen will leave the club next season so Barca need a goalkeeper to challenge Marc-Andre ter-Stegen.
Jeroen Zoet | Goalkeeper | 27-years-old | PSV Eindhoven | €10 million
Barca’s alternative to Casteels has already played at the Camp Nou this season - conceding four times during Barca’s 4-0 win against PSV in the Champions League.
Matthijs De Ligt | Centre-back | 19-years-old | Ajax | €50 million
One of the highest-rated young defenders in world football right now. He’s already played seven times for the Netherlands and Barca may even look to sign him in January.
Milan Skriniar | Centre-back | 23-years-old | Inter Milan | €50 million
Another centre-back valued at €50 million - although the Slovak is four years older than De Ligt.
Dayot Upamecano | Centre-back | 19-years-old | RB Leipzig | €30 million
A slightly cheaper alternative to De Ligt and Skriniar. The Frenchman already has two years of Bundesliga experience under his belt.
Kalidou Koulibaly | Centre-back | 27-years-old | Napoli | €60 million
Unlike with De Ligt, Skriniar and Upamecano, Barcelona wouldn’t have to wait for Koulibaly to develop. Already an established defender in European football, Koulibaly will come at a cost.
Ferland Mendy | Left-back | 23-years-old | Lyon | €12 million
Abidal sees Mendy as Jordi Alba’s long-term replacement. If anybody is allowed an opinion on a French left-back, it’s Abidal.
Nicolas Tagliafico | Left-back | 26 years-old | Ajax | €16 million
The second of three Ajax players Barcelona are interested in. Messi could help convince the fellow Argentine to sign for the club.
Filipe Luis | Left-back | 33-years-old | Atletico Madrid | €8 million
A cheap and short-term option for Barcelona at left-back. Whether Atleti would sell him to a rival is another question, though.
Frenkie De Jong | Centre-midfield | 21-years-old | Ajax | €40 million
The third Ajax star that Barca want. The youngster is being courted by the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Real Madrid.
Paul Pogba | Centre-midfield | 25-years-old | Manchester United | €90 million
Pogba isn’t happy at United and Barcelona could come to his rescue. Many at the club think the youngster of De Jong is the safer option, though.
Adrien Rabiot | Centre-midfield | 23-years-old | Paris Saint-Germain | €50 million
His future with PSG looks in doubt and he will surely be tempted with a move to Barca. Could be an adequate replacement for Busquets.
Krzysztof Piatek | Striker | 23-years-old | Genoa | €15 million
Piatek is causing a stir this season, scoring 13 goals in eight matches for Genoa. The Italian club will struggle to keep hold of the Pole and he will surely leave next summer - if not in January.
Nicolas Pepe | Winger | 23-years-old | Lille | €16 million
Pepe has scored six goals in nine games this season in France but the left-footer probably isn’t needed by Barca after Malcom’s arrival. €16 million could prove to be too good to turn down for Barca, though.
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