3 players who could leave Barcelona in January | La Liga 2019-20
Barcelona are currently joint-top of the LaLiga standings alongside arch-rivals Real Madrid and Ernesto Valverde's side have also secure qualification to the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League, as they are set to face Napoli in the Round of 16 of the tournament.
While the Blaugrana look well set to compete on all fronts this season, there have been reports that Valverde is looking to fine-tune his squad for the business end of the season. The likes of Lautaro Martinez, Neymar Jr, Lukas Klostermann and Dani Olmo have been linked with the club in recent weeks and it remains to be seen if the club opt to spend the big bucks in January.
In terms of outgoings, however, the rumour mill has been on full swing as a handful of key players are reportedly looking to secure moves away from the club in search of regular game time. On that note, let's look at three players who could leave Barcelona in the January transfer window.
3. Jean Clair Todibo
Jean Clair Todibo has been on the fringes of the Barcelona side since joining the club on a cut-price deal in 2019 and the Frenchman is reportedly a top target for AC Milan. With the likes of Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti ahead of him, the Frenchman has struggled for game time at the Catalan club and his appearances have been reserved to cup games and the occasional league encounter when the senior defenders are injured or suspended.
The 20-year-old has made just 4 appearances for Barcelona since joining from Ligue 1 side Toulouse last year and is reportedly keen to secure a move away from the reigning LaLiga champions in January.
Although Barcelona were initially unwilling to part with Todibo on a permanent deal, as they view him as someone who could be a pivotal player for the club in the future, the situation is believed to have changed in recent weeks as they are locked in negotiations with AC Milan.
2. Arturo Vidal
Arturo Vidal's future has been subject to a lot of speculation in recent weeks, as the Chilean has reportedly grown disgruntled with his lack of game time in Spain. Since making a move to Barcelona in the summer of 2018, the veteran midfielder has made decisive contributions for the Catalan club in the heart of the midfield.
While Ernesto Valverde's side do not have a midfielder of Vidal's skillset amongst their ranks, the likes of Arthur Melo, Sergio Busquets and new signing Frenkie de Jong are ahead of him in the pecking order. At this stage of his career, the midfielder believes he should not be competing for places and is reportedly keen on a reunion with Antonio Conte, who is currently in charge of Inter Milan in the Serie A.
The pair enjoyed a fruitful spell together at Juventus, where Vidal was the midfield general alongside Paul Pogba, Andrea Pirlo and Claudio Marchisio. Aside from his tenacity in midfield, Vidal's warrior-like attitude coupled with his experience are qualities Conte desires, as the Nerazzurri chase the Serie A title and it remains to be seen if he secures a move away from Barcelona in the January transfer window.
1. Ousmane Dembele
Ousmane Dembele has struggled with injuries and inconsistencies since making a big-money move to Barcelona in 2017 and has failed to deliver the goods for the reigning LaLiga champions. The 22-year-old burst onto the scene at Stade Rennes and earned a move to Borussia Dortmund after a series of eye-catching performances for the Ligue 1 side, as the Bundesliga outfit pipped Liverpool to his signature that year.
After spending a solitary season in Germany, Dembele earned a move to the Spanish giants to replace the outgoing Neymar, who sealed a world-record move to Paris Saint-Germain. While the Frenchman's natural ability has never been doubted, his mentality coupled with fitness issues has been a major stumbling block, as he's failed to establish himself as a reliable member of the Barcelona attack in 3 years at the club.
The mercurial winger has spent a staggering 352 days and counting injured since his big-money move to the Catalan club, which translates to 58 games missed in all competitions since the summer of 2017, a record that does not make for good reading considering his talent and the money spent to acquire his services.
Dembele, at the age of 22, has time on his side to turn his career around and become a key player for Ernesto Valverde's side but the Blaugrana are reportedly keen on cashing in on the Frenchman, as they remain keen on reuniting with Neymar in the summer. The former Borussia Dortmund man will not be short of suitors if Barcelona decide to cut their losses and move him on and it remains to be seen if they lose patience with Dembele in the coming weeks.
Any potential transfer could be kept on hold, as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury that is expected to keep him out of action until February, but Dembele on his day is one of the most frightening attacking players in world football and he'd add quality to just about any team in Europe.Published 10 Jan 2020, 20:30 IST