After coming closer than ever to losing club captain Leo Messi this summer, Barcelona successfully managed to keep hold of their talismanic leader heading into the 2020/21 campaign. New manager Ronald Koeman has already made substantial moves in the team by discarding veteran striker Luis Suarez and sanctioning the departure of Nelson Semedo.
While he replaced the latter with Ajax starlet Sergino Dest, the Barcelona boss hoped to seal Memphis Depay’s signature to replace Suarez, but the move ultimately did not materialise. However, with the winter window not too far away, Barcelona are already plotting moves to bolster their squad.
Here, we take a look at the latest Barcelona news.
Barcelona boss Koeman discusses interest in Depay and Wijnaldum
Depay and Wijnaldum are both on Barcelona’s radar
It was no secret that the Dutchman courted the services of his compatriots Memphis Depay and Gini Wijnaldum in the summer. Barcelona were close to signing both in the recently-concluded transfer window, particularly the former, but neither of the moves eventually worked out.
However, that hasn’t stopped Barcelona manager Koeman from desiring the Dutch national team stars, and hopes to reunite with them at the Nou Camp. Speaking on Depay’s potential move, Koeman said that he hopes to sign him in the winter window.
22 – Memphis Depay was involved in more goals for the Dutch national team 🇳🇱 under Ronaldo Koeman than any other player (22, 11 goals and 11 assists). Confidence. pic.twitter.com/TsorUuVM0Z
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) September 15, 2020
The 57-year-old said;
“That [Depay’s transfer] is certainly a possibility, yes. I will try, because I would like to have him there. But now I can not estimate what the financial situation of the club will be in January. That remains to be seen.”
When asked upon his interest in Wijnaldum, the Barcelona coach remarked;
“Gini [Wijnaldum] has a great sense of space, he can get to the goal fantastically well from midfield, he could really add something to the team, but the financial situation was known to the club, his position ultimately had less priority than, for example, the right back or the striker position.”
Koeman responds to Griezmann’s comments on preferred position
FC Barcelona star Antoine Griezmann
After France’s 2-1 win over Croatia in midweek, Antoine Griezmann claimed that he feels comfortable playing with Les Bleus because the coach, Didier Deschamps, ‘knows where to play him.’ At the time, it appeared to be a veiled dig at Koeman, who plays him out of position at Barcelona.
However, the Dutchman brushed away the Frenchman’s claims, saying that he only has the team’s best interests in mind.
In response to Griezmann’s comments, Koeman expressed;
“I have spoken with Antoine [Griezmann] and I told him that I’m looking out for what is best for the team. I think he’s most effective on the right for us. He can play in three positions. He could also play as a No 10 or a No 9. In fact, when I was the Netherlands boss, in a game against France, he played on the right against us – which is the same at Barcelona.”
The former Everton and Valencia boss added,
“I have no problem with Antoine. I can only play one player in each of the three attacking positions. I do not play any players out of position. Griezmann can play wide coming inside on his left foot. If he has another position that he likes more, that is the situation, but we cannot have 10 players in the same role [No 10].””I decide based on what’s best for the team. The coach is in charge and the players must be at their best when they play.”
Barcelona squad reject 30% pay cut proposal
As per Catalan radio station RAC1, Barcelona’s squad have refused the club’s proposal of taking a potential 30% pay cut.
The Blaugrana reportedly proposed this to the players amidst the club’s ongoing financial crisis, which appears to be worsening with every passing month. As reported by MARCA recently, the club’s debt was €217m in June 2019, which has now grown to a staggering €488m as of June 2020.
As per the report, the Barcelona players will send a burofax to the club stating that they will oppose any such plans drawn up by the club. This comes on the back of a report from earlier this month which noted that the players could potentially terminate their contracts unilaterally should these proposed wage cuts become mandatory.
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