Barcelona are actively making plans for the future and have made a huge breakthrough in negotiations over one player's contract renewal.
Barca are navigating a financial crisis but are still looking to get busy in the winter transfer window. They are looking to offload quite a few players this month and possibly rope in a couple of fresh faces as well.
Without further ado, let's take a look at the top stories involving Barcelona from 27 January, 2023.
Xavi lavishes praise on Ousmane Dembele
Under Xavi Hernandez's tutelage, Ousmane Dembele has become one of Barcelona's best players. As per reports, Xavi's words of wisdom have gone a long way towards Dembele improving his decision making.
The Barca manager has now heaped praise on the winger and revealed that he believes the player still has a lot of potential left in him. Xavi said:
"It's not just today (for Dembele's good performances). He's a player who has matured a lot since we've been here. We give him the tools. I see a lot of quality in him. Dembele is a player with tremendous potential. I believe in him a lot. Full-backs always suffer when they have to defend him. He's a good guy. He's turned the tables and I'm very happy for him."
"I think Dembele has matured a lot since we took over. We have just given him the tools. He is lethal. We always say when he comes inside, he has to shoot more because he has that quality and he can make the difference in games."
Barcelona keeping tabs on Arnau Martinez
Barcelona are set to face Girona in a Catalan derby this weekend. The game affords the Blaugrana the chance to carefully observe Arnau Martinez. According to SPORT, Barca have been paying close attention to Martinez as they seek to acquire a new right-back.
The 19-year-old has a history with Barcelona as he used to be a part of their La Masia academy. He left for L'Hospitalet in 2016 before eventually joining Girona's youth setup two years later.
He has become a key player for Girona's first team and played a vital role in their promotion to La Liga. He has performed well in his debut season in the top-flight, scoring two goals and providing one assist in 15 league games.
Martinez has a release clause of €20 million which has been deemed acceptable by the Blaugrana.
Barca agree new one-year contract with Marcos Alonso
Marcos Alonso joined Barca last summer on a free transfer. The former Chelsea wing-back signed a one-year deal as the Catalans were navigating a financial crisis. It was agreed between the parties that a new contract will be discussed in 2023.
According to Ferran Correas of SPORT, the Blaugrana have now agreed a new one-year deal with Alonso with an option for another year. Alonso has done a good job for Barca since joining and has performed equally well at left-back and at centre-back.
The 32-year-old has also scored two goals in 19 appearances in all competitions for the club so far this term. Naturally, his and Alejandro Balde's impending contract extension makes Jordi Alba's future at the Camp Nou even more uncertain now.