5 tweaks Barcelona should look to make next season
The Blaugrana are having a curious end to the current season. By all accounts and using all reasonable metrics, the team and manager Ernesto Valverde are having a fantastic season as they have already won the Copa Del Rey, will win the La Liga title in the next few games and are on the verge of going unbeaten for the entire season.
However, the disgraceful loss to AS Roma in the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League after surrendering a 4-1 lead from the first leg has cast a dark shadow over the season and there are already signs that the club may face a second consecutive summer of major reconstruction.
Much loved captain Andres Iniesta is set to leave the club at the end of the season while the situation with Samuel Umtiti remains unresolved.
Here are 5 things that Barca will need to do in order to be competitive on all fronts:
Also Read: 5 potential replacements if Umtiti leaves
#5 Sell off fringe players and reduce wage bill
Given the enormity of the club's wage bill, steps should be taken to ensure that certain fringe players whose contributions to the team are negligible.
Normally, a football club is expected to limit the wages its pays players/staff to less than 70% of its annual budget but given the contract renewals and attendant wage increases given to Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto since last year, the club is dangerously close to exceeding that figure.
In fact, it was only due to Neymar's world record move to PSG that enabled the club break even this season. While deals with sponsors like Nike (kit manufacturer), Rakuten (shirt sponsor) and Beko (sleeve sponsor) among others are bringing in money, the huge bonuses and salaries being paid are burning money fast.
The likes of Lucas Digne, Andre Gomes, Paco Alcácer, Aleix Vidal, Rafinha among others may need to be moved on to generate funds and at the same time reduce the wage bill to a more manageable level.
The exit of a high earner like Iniesta will help but more will need to be done to decongest the squad and raise funds for the next transfer window(s).