Barça's loanee conundrum
Vermaelen, Douglas, Tello, Munir, Ortolá, and Samper will return to Camp Nou following loan spells, but their future under Ernesto Valverde is uncertain.
It is less than a month until the Barcelona squad return from their summer break to begin the Ernesto Valverde era.
In addition to chasing the signatures of Verratti, Bellerín, and Dembélé, Barça need to shave the dead wood from their squad. Jeremy Mathieu and Arda Turan are yet to receive offers from other clubs, and six loanees will return to Camp Nou on 12 July to further bloat the group.
This is the situation with each of those six loanees after a season away from Barcelona.
The Belgian defender arrived from Arsenal for €19m, and remains under contract until 2019. Last season, Vermaelen played for AS Roma, but only managed 12 appearances for the Serie A club in a characteristically injury-hit season. He has an offer from Turkey, but would be a pricey signing. He is not in Valverde’s plans.
Valencia will not pay the €12m to make his loan deal a permanent signing. The La Masia graduate is not fancied by Valverde, but if he can’t find a new team, he may form part of the squad at Camp Nou. He is contracted until 2019, and scored eight goals in 39 matches for Valencia, as well as three assists.
The Brazilian arrived in the treble-winning season for €4m from Sao Paolo. Last season, he was in-and-out of the Sporting team; scoring three goals and registering one assist in 23 matches. The player is keen to remain in LaLiga in order to speed up the process of gaining Spanish nationality. He is also not in Valverde’s plans.
Cristian Tello signed a five-year contract in 2013, so Barça have the option to loan him out for another year. The forward spent the 2016/7 season at Fiorentina, where he scored four goals and assisted seven more in 41 games. He is not in Valverde’s plans.
Samper will spend pre-season with the first team, and his intention will be to stay there and offer cove for Sergio Busquets. He signed a new contract with Barça last year, which will keep him at the club until 2020. He played 20 times for Granada last season, as the Andalucian club were relegated from LaLiga.
The ‘keeper only played two matches in the league for Alavés last season, and a further six in the Copa del Rey. He will slot in to the first-team squad for pre-season, given that Masip has left the club, and Ter Stegen will have extended holidays after playing in the Confederations Cup for Germany. He could end up playing for Barcelona B.