Barcelona’s slow revolution
By Sergi Escudero
Barcelona, Aug 25 (efe-epa).- It took a week and a half for the “drastic changes” announced by Barcelona club president Josep Maria Bartomeu after the team’s humiliating 8-2 defeat against Bayern Munich to tentatively come to fruition under the new management of Ronald Koeman.
The Dutchman has already told Luis Suárez, Ivan Rakitic, Arturo Vidal and Samuel Umtiti they are no longer needed for the coming season, according to widespread media reports Monday.
In contrast, everything points to Jordi Alba keeping his place in the team while the future of stars like Sergio Busquets and Gerard Piqué (who offered to leave if necessary) remains up in the air.
As of Monday, the only major change to have officially taken place was Koeman coming in to replace Quique Setién, whose exit was all but assured after the Bayern game.
Former sporting director Éric Abidal left on his own accord, replaced by his understudy Ramon Planes.
The resignation of Bartomeu and his board was dismissed immediately, although they brought forward leadership elections, which will now take place in March.
In the time that has passed since Barcelona’s ungraceful exit from the Champions League, not a single player has officially departed the club, although Lionel Messi was quoted by the media as telling Koeman he saw himself “more out than in” at the moment.
Barcelona’s squad is due to take a coronavirus test on Sunday before returning to training the following day but much needs to be done before the club can present its post-revolution face.
As things stand four new players will be joining the side, Trincao, Pedri and Matheus Fernandes (who could go out on loan) and Pjanic (when he recovers from Covid-19).