FC Barcelona

6 moves Barcelona need to make in the January transfer window

Tom Gott
Xavi has work to do
Xavi has work to do / Fran Santiago/GettyImages

Xavi has wasted little time in rejigging Barcelona's squad.

Dani Alves is finally free to be registered after returning on a free transfer in early November, although he has to finish his Covid-19 isolation first, and Ferran Torres has completed his €55m move from Manchester City to add some much-needed firepower in attack.

Barcelona shouldn't stop there though. Here's what they need to do in January.

1. Keep trying to trim the wage budget

Philippe Coutinho
Coutinho is unwanted / Alexander Hassenstein/GettyImages

The wage budget is Barcelona's worst enemy these days. They need to trim the squad and can't make the space needed to register new signings until they do so.

Goalkeeper Neto, defenders Samuel Umtiti and Sergino Dest (probably also even Clement Lenglet) and forward Philippe Coutinho are all no longer needed and finding new homes for that group is a must.

It'll be tough, but the salary that would free up would be enormous.

2. Be prepared to swallow some enormous losses

Samuel Umtiti
Barcelona won't get their money back for most of the deadwood / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

The concern for Barcelona is that the aforementioned group, Lenglet included, cost a combined £245.4m, and they're not getting anywhere near that back.

If Barcelona sell all five, they'd be lucky to bring €60m in, with Neto, Umtiti and the €160m Coutinho all seeing their values tumble in recent years.

It's going to be incredibly ugly, but needs must.

3. Get an answer from Ousmane Dembele

Ousmane Dembele
Dembele's contract is winding down / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

The dream scenario would be for Ousmane Dembele to ink the contract extension that everyone at Barcelona continues to claim he wants.

Talks have broken down once again, with Dembele not prepared to sign on if he doesn't get a pay rise, and it looks as though he is heading for the exit door.

If Dembele really wants to stay, make him an offer that forces him to do so. If he pushes talks back even more, get him gone. Even with an expiring contract, he can bring in a pretty penny.

4. Offload Luuk de Jong & Yusuf Demir

Luuk De Jong
De Jong is not in Xavi's plans / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Yusuf Demir's time at Barcelona is up. He's not going to play again as the Blaugrana aren't prepared to trigger his €10m purchase clause, so it's in everyone's best interests to get him gone.

It shouldn't be too tough to pull that off, but the trickier exit will be that of unwanted striker Luuk de Jong.

On a season-long loan from Sevilla, who also don't want him back, De Jong needs to be convinced to end his easy life in Barcelona, which could prove problematic. Cadiz are ready to take him if he agrees.

5. Keep looking for a bargain forward

Hakim Ziyech
Ziyech could be tempted to leave Chelsea / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

Torres' arrival is huge, as is the premature emergence of Ez Abde and, to a lesser extent, Ferran Jutgla and Ilias Akhomach, but Barcelona still need more bodies in attack.

Martin Braithwaite's recovery from a knee injury could take a little while longer and ongoing fitness concerns with Dembele and Ansu Fati should leave Xavi a little hesitant to proceed with the squad in its current state.

The next signing is almost certainly going to be a loan, so those out-of-favour players like Hakim Ziyech or Anthony Martial could be smart targets.

6. Make contact with some impending free agents

Noussair Mazraoui
Talks are underway with Mazraoui / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Barcelona need to improve the squad without spending a lot of money, so for the second year in a row, it's time to focus on players with expiring contracts.

Chelsea trio Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger should all be contacted, as should Milan-based duo Franck Kessie and Marcelo Brozovic of AC and Inter respectively.

Ajax right-back Noussair Mazraoui is already being spoken about, and expect plenty of other players to find their names on the desk at Camp Nou soon enough.