BARCELONA

Barcelona to trim squad - seven players won't continue

Arthur, Junior, Rakitic, Braithwaite, Umtiti, Arturo Vidal and Dembélé will be offloaded either through direct transfers, exchange deals or as free agents.

Barcelona to trim squad - seven players won't continue

The first decisions in the wake of Friday's embarrassing Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich will be made over the next few days. Two of the first matters to be dealt with will be the date of the next presidential elections and the list of players who will be moving on. Barcelona's technical department have a preliminary list of seven players who will not continue at the club next season. One of them, Arthur Melo, has already arranged his transfer to Juventus with Miralem Pjanic moving in the opposite direction.

Rakitic ready to move on

Ivan Rakitic will likely be the next player to leave the club - possibly in a return move to Sevilla, but there is an outside chance he could go abroad to the Premier League or Serie A. Barça will be looking for a quick solution to the Rakitic situation so that they can concentrate on the other five operations which will likely be more complicated and time consuming.

Martin Braithwaite will also be leaving Barcelona after a discreet few months, both in terms in playing time and his performances. Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal has admirers in the Premier League and in Italy which makes him a candidate to enter into a part exchange operation; as could Junior Firpo who is also on the transfer list and could be used as a makeweight in the plan to bring in Lautaro Martínez from Inter.

Umtiti and Dembélé

Barcelona will find it much harder to find a new home for Samuel Umtiti, a player who has been plagued with problems with his left knee. The club is considering reaching an agreement with the defender to rescind his contract if no offers come in and by doing so would at least save on his wages - 12 millions euros before tax per year.

Another player who the club might find difficult to move on is Ousmane Dembélé. His long history of injuries and erratic behaviour off the pitch have convinced the technical team that it's time for him to leave but only for a decent offer. The Catalans hope to raise cash by selling Dembélé to fund other operations such as signing Manchester City centre-back Eric García, who is priced at 24 million euros.

There are another five players listed who won't necessarily be involved in the first trim-back. They include Nelson Semedo, Luis Suárez, Neto, Sergi Roberto and Antoine Griezmann. The club would be willing to start negotiations if any interesting offers come in for these players but none are considered priority cases. Luis Suárez's case is particularly sensitive as the club has decided not to extend his contract and he could depart this summer, making the most of his cachet in the United States or Qatar.

Just four Barcelona players are not for sale

Nor has the club ruled out that Gerard Piqué, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba could leave although that is not a short-term option at the moment. Out of the three, the left-back is the most likely candidate to leave if a decent offer arrives.

As things stand, three B team players are registered with the first team squad for next season - Ansu Fati, Riqui Puig and Roland Araujo. And Pjanic is due to arrive soon along with Portuguese forward Francisco Trincão and teenage forward Pedri. Fresh faces just as Piqué called for following the Bayern defeat.

And out of the first team squad, just four players are deemed not for sale under any circumstances - Ter Stegen, Lenglet, De Jong and Messi.