FC Barcelona’s season have been filled with ups and downs, from winning the LaLiga, reaching the finals of Copa del Rey and winning Supercopa to losing the Champions League in a disastrous fashion. With a season filled with surprises and drama, we must ask ourselves, what does the upcoming season have in store for FC Barcelona.
From all the events that have happened to Barcelona this season, we simply cannot ignore the defeat in semi-finals of UCL against Liverpool, which left the world in shock. The football world is filled with upsets, surprise wins, incredible goals and numerous other events that leave the football world speechless, however every once and a while there is a match that will get remembered for years to come. One of those stories happened on Tuesday at Anfield, a part of which is also Barcelona. And while they can be happy they will be a part of history, Barcelona ended up at the wrong receiving end. We are of course talking about the 4:0 defeat against Liverpool in the semi-finals of UCL, which means Barcelona one again got knocked out of the Champions League due to an upset win in the 2nd leg.
Last year it was AS Roma who humiliated the Blaugrana in the quarter-finals, this time it was Liverpool who played without two of their star players and achieved the same. After the humiliating defeat, there has understandably been a lot of pressure put on Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde, who could be at the exit doors of the club he joined in 2017.
While the news are not official, it’s only fair to expect Ernesto Valverde to be sacked and replaced. Who should that be we can only speculate, however, there are a few possible replacements for Valverde if he ends up leaving Barcelona next season. Ajax boss Erik ten Hag, Shakhtar Donetsk head coach Paulo Fonseca, Marcelino and even the club legend Xavi have all been reported as a possible replacement. Not only will Barcelona possibly change their head coach, there are also rumours of some big stars moving from and to Barcelona next season, which could mean the 2019/20 Barcelona will look quite different.
Rumours and “done deals” are miles apart, nonetheless, there are a few rumours floating around regarding transfers that are worth mentioning even though they are not 100% to happen. We must, of course, start off with the former Liverpool player Coutinho, who even after a year still hasn’t found his place in Barcelona. He came to the Blaugrana as Liverpool superstar but failed to live up to his name in Spain. With only 5 goals in 33 LaLiga matches, it’s clear he does not belong in Barcelona. Understandably, he has been rumoured to move in the upcoming transfer window.
On the other side, it has been reported that Juan Mata wishes to join Barcelona this summer when his contract with the Red Devils runs out. While there are no official news, Mata’s agent hinted Juan Mata could return to LaLiga this summer, which could possibly mean Barcelona. Lastly, the Ajax prodigy, Matthijs de Ligt, who has been linked heavily with the LaLiga giants for several months now. While it is still expected that Matthijs de Ligt would join the Blaugrana, there have been reportedly some issues with the transfer itself. ESPN reported that the youngster’s agent Mino Raiola wants to negotiate fresh terms, which could threaten the deal.
In addition to those three big transfers, rumours suggest Barcelona has a few other names on their radar. Those include; a promising French defender Benjamin Pavard, goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka, 5 possible replacements for Suarez; Nicolas Pepe, Timo Werner, Krzysztof Piątek, Lautaro Martinez, Kasper Dolberg, another Ajax prodigy in Frenkie De Jong and Adrien Rabiot, who has been a transfer target for many clubs this summer.
On the other side, there have been reports of a few Barcelona players, who will most likely end up leaving Spain in summer. Thomas Vermaelen, Malcolm, Rafinha, previously mentioned Coutinho and one of the biggest possible departures; Ivan Rakitic, who despite his 30 years still plays a huge part in the starting XI. The departure of the Croatian superstar is still unsure, but the rumours of Barcelona signing Frankie De Jong cast serious doubt over Rakitic’s future at Blaugrana.
Barcelona had a very eventful season behind them, and as it seems the upcoming months won’t disappoint either. With some big transfers on the horizon and possible change in coaching personnel, Barcelona seems to be ready for a makeover, which they hope will bring better results next season.