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Barcelona stars return as pre-season starts to take shape

Alba, Gavi, Busquets, Eric, Ferran. De Jong, Memphis, Araújo and Braithwaite joined the group as Xavi prepared the tour of the United States.

GRAF5619. BARCELONA, 08/07/2022.- Los jugadores del FC Barcelona Pedri (d) y Ansu Fati (2i), junto al entrenador Xavi Hernández (c), durante el entrenamiento de hoy en la ciudad deportiva Joan Gamper. EFE/Alejandro García
Alejandro GarciaEFE

Barcelona began its second week of pre-season training on Monday with the return of the international players, those given a little extra time off, who underwent a medical check-up in the morning.

Barça boys are back

Ferran Torres, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Gavi (Pablo Martín Páez Gavira for those wondering what his full name is), Eric Garcia, Frenkie de Jong, Martin Braithwaite and Ronald Araújo have now joined the group. They all underwent a medical examination this morning ahead of the preparatory session set for 7 pm local time (1 pm ET) by manager Xavi Hernández.

Although several transfers are expected to change the look of the group ahead of the new season, the coach already has the entire squad at his disposal for the tour of the United States, which will have its first stop in Miami to face David Beckham’s Inter, next Tuesday, July 19 at 7:30 pm local time. After the match in Florida, the rivals of the Blaugrana team will be Real Madrid for a Las Vegas Clásico (Saturday, July 23), then Juventus in Dallas (Tuesday, July 26) and New York Red Bull in New York (Saturday, July 30).

Certain players are expected to remain in Barcelona to resolve their futures, as in the cases of Neto, Umtiti, Mingueza, Riqui Puig and Braithwaite. One player that now appears to be part of the expedition that will cross the Atlantic is Ousmane Dembélé, whose renewal until 2024 seems back on track.

One other unresolved situation is that of Frenkie de Jong. The high salary of the former Ajax player is a major obstacle to his continuity, so if he does not renew at a discounted amount, the club would not look badly on a sale knowing the strong interest in the market for him, Manchester United being the main suitor.