4 signings Barcelona need to make to compete with Real Madrid

  • Barcelona set to relinquish La Liga crown to bitter rivals
  • Xavi's departure this summer could lead to significant amount of change at club
  • Exits likely to help facilitate incomings and provide cash flow
It could be a summer of change at Barcelona
It could be a summer of change at Barcelona / Alex Caparros/GettyImages

Barring a dramatic collapse from Real Madrid, Barcelona are going to surrender their La Liga crown in pretty meek fashion.

The Catalan giants' indifferent form in the early stages of the season persuaded Xavi that the best course of action was to step down as head coach this summer, and his departure could be the catalyst for significant change at a club still under the cosh financially.

Players will inevitably have to leave in order to allow for incomings, with Frenkie de Jong, Robert Lewandowski and Ronald Araujo among those to have been touted for the exit door, and Barcelona will look for other ways to raise cash too – president Joan Laporta does love a good lever or 20, that much we already know.

The question is, what do Barcelona need to get back on level terms with a Real Madrid side likely to be boasting Kylian Mbappe and Endrick next season, in addition to the likes of Jude Bellingham, Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo?

The following would be a good starting point...

1. Alexander Isak

Alexander Isak
Alexander Isak would be a guaranteed source of goals / Visionhaus/GettyImages

There's no denying that Robert Lewandowski is one of the greatest strikers of modern times. His relentless thirst for goals helped Bayern Munich dominate the Bundesliga throughout his time at the club, and he was 100% robbed by the decision to award Lionel Messi the Ballon d'Or in 2021.

But despite putting up impressive numbers in his first season at Barcelona – enough to win the Pichichi Trophy – it's clear Lewandowski is not the right fit for the Catalan giants. Certainly not for the long-term.

Vitor Roque is already at Barcelona and he'll likely play a key role in taking the club forward. But guaranteed goals and a dose of wow-factor certainly sums up Newcastle's Alexander Isak to a tee. He'll cost a pretty penny to prise away from St James' Park, but sometimes you have to pay a premium to get the best.

In Isak, he's already one of the most prolific marksman in Europe and, providing he can stay fit, you'd argue he's only going to get better.

2. Joao Cancelo

Joao Cancelo
Cancelo's versatility is too valuable to let go / Flor Tan Jun/GettyImages

Another absolute must addition is one already at the club on loan. No, it's not Joao Felix, but namesake Joao Cancelo instead.

Occasional lapses in concentration blight the Portuguese's game, that is unquestionable, but his ability to play on both flanks to an exceptionally high standard is among the most valuable traits in football.

Cancelo also comes from a background of winning - he has lifted top flight titles in four different countries - and that mental strength is needed each and every year in the fight with Real Madrid.

3. Alejandro Grimaldo

Alejandro Grimaldo
Grimaldo in Europa League action for Bayer Leverkusen / Catherine Ivill - AMA/GettyImages

Barcelona's La Masia academy is known for producing some of European football's brightest talents.

Pedri, Gavi and Lamine Yamal are three of the hottest properties to have graduated in recent years, but one that seemingly got away from the Catalan giants is late bloomer Alejandro Grimaldo.

The 28-year-old played 92 games for Barcelona B before choosing to pursue a move to Benfica in 2016 when his contract was running down. The Portuguese giants enjoyed seven years of high quality service before a move to newly crowned Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen came to fruition last summer.

Grimaldo's performances on the opposite flank to Jeremie Frimpong have been outstanding, and although a move is almost certainly out of the question, he'd be a significant addition to help aid the development of young Alejandro Balde.

4. Dani Olmo

Dani Olmo
Dani Olmo is another Barcelona youth product / Stuart Franklin/GettyImages

Barcelona's top scorer in La Liga this season is Lewandowski with 13 goals, but no other player has hit double digits. Felix, Ferran Torres, Raphinha and Lamine Yamal have all chipped in, but the goals have been sparse from midfield to say the least.

That's not to say that Dani Olmo will help in that particular regard, but the 25-year-old attacking midfielder would undoubtedly add a different dynamic when it comes to creating chances.

RB Leipzig know they're in a losing battle to keep hold of Olmo, and although there's suggestions that they will demand his €60m release clause be paid in full if they are to agree to a deal, they've been known to compromise if it ultimately benefits all parties.

Do Barca need more numbers in midfield? Yes. Would Olmo be on less wages than the potentially departing Frenkie de Jong? Yes. Would he be less volatile than fellow midfielder Ilkay Gundogan? Yes. Does he blend with the style of football on show in Catalonia? Absolutely yes.