Football Manager

Barcelona on Football Manager 2022: 10 tips when starting a new save

Tom Gott
Barcelona are fascinating to control
Barcelona are fascinating to control / Aitor Alcalde Colomer/GettyImages

Few teams are as intriguing to manage on Football Manager 2022 as Barcelona.

With Lionel Messi now gone, Barcelona have entered rebuild mode as they look to rediscover the magic that made them so dominant in years gone by, but there's just one problem - you've got no money at all.

If you're up for the challenge, here are some tips to get you started.

1. Get selling pronto

Norberto Murara Neto
Neto needs to be sold / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Here's the obvious one. You start off in debt - nothing too tricky, but there's not a single penny for you to play with.

The easiest way to generate some cash is to sell your unwanted fringe players. Samuel Umtiti, Martin Braithwaite, Sergi Roberto and Neto can definitely all go, and there are a handful of others you could offload if you're feeling ruthless.

Finding a team interested in taking their wages is going to be rough, however, so prepare yourselves for some hefty wage contributions.

2. Make the most of free agents

Diego Costa
You can bring in Costa for free / Ricardo Moreira/GettyImages

Selling squad players should be an easy call to make because you can actually find a few decent replacements in free agency.

Diego Costa is an ideal backup striker to replace Braithwaite, while Miguel Angel Moya will take Neto's place on the bench as your backup goalkeeper.

Mateo Musacchio is no worse than Umtiti and Fredy Guarin isn't the worst shout to replace Roberto. For free signings, you really can't complain.

3. Sort out your 2022 free agents

Ousmane Dembele
Dembele needs an extension / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

As far as expiring contracts go, Barcelona aren't in too much of a pickle, although there are one or two things to address.

The priority is winger Ousmane Dembele, who is prepared to re-sign and take the same sort of money that he is currently earning. That's a no-brainer, even if your plan is just to sell him down the line anyway.

Sergi Roberto wants too much money for a player of his limited ability, but you should definitely look to extend academy kids Santi Ramos Mingo, Jandro Orellana and Arnau Comas.

4. Work on the 2023 deals too

Ronald Araujo
Araujo attracts plenty of interest / Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/GettyImages

2023 is actually the bigger dilemma for Barcelona, so you want to get that sorted before it starts to become a major issue.

The main focus should be on Gavi and Ronald Araujo, who will be key players for you for the next decade if you play your cards right. Oscar Mingueza is right there as a capable backup as well.

In the academy, Ilias Akhomach and Angel Alarcon are future stars who need re-signing, and take a look at Ferran Jutgla and Mika Marmol as well.

5. Give minutes to the youngsters

Focus on Gavi's development / Angel Martinez/GettyImages

Barcelona's squad is a little slim in certain areas. The midfield isn't blessed with too much top quality outside the starters, but what you do have is plenty of high-potential wonderkids.

Gavi and Nico both absolutely need minutes at this point in their careers, so you need to decide whether you can offer that to them or whether you should be loaning them out.

On that note...

6. Loan out Alejandro Balde

Alejandro Balde
Balde probably needs a loan / Alex Caparros/GettyImages

Left-back Alex Balde is a little way off the first team but he's your only left-back not named Jordi Alba. Unfortunately, you'll notice a real drop-off when you have to play the 17-year-old, so you should probably loan him out.

The versatility of Sergino Dest should put your mind to rest. Primarily a right-back, he is more than comfortable over on the left, so you don't actually need Balde around right now.

Balde's potential is enormous, so give him a loan or two and then reap the rewards once Alba starts to decline.

7. Partner Frenkie de Jong up with Pedri

Frenkie de Jong
De Jong is your midfield star / ANP/GettyImages

In your midfield, it's Frenkie de Jong who is seen as the bigger future star than Pedri.

De Jong's potential ability is a whopping 183, with Pedri's just behind on 175. They'll be your long-term midfield if you play your cards right, so make sure you try to maximise them.

For roles, try De Jong as a supporting advanced playmaker, with Pedri's best spot as an attacking midfielder.

8. Find some staff

Barcelona need more staff / JOSEP LAGO/GettyImages

Bizarrely, Barcelona are sorely lacking in the staff department.

The fitness coaches are great and the goalkeeping staff are solid, but there isn't a single specialist coach on the books and it's the academy assistants who are asked to do your attacking and defensive coaching.

You've got space for four more coaches, so pick wisely when hiring a specialist in every discipline.

9. Trigger Riqui Puig's extension

Riqui Puig
Puig has a role to play / Angel Martinez/GettyImages

Riqui Puig is under contract until 2023 and you can extend that to 2025 in the blink of an eye by triggering the clause in his deal.

You should keep faith in the 21-year-old as he'll be a very valuable asset once he reaches his potential of 160. He's a capable backup now, but it's up to you whether or not you see a loan in his short-term future.

However, even if you want to sell him, the extra two years on his contract should add some extra value.

10. Start praying that Griezmann & Coutinho end up leaving

Antoine Griezmann
Griezmann is on loan at Atletico / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

High-earners Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho are both out on loans with options to buy, and you better hope they turn into permanent deals.

The pair are on ridiculous wages and you'll struggle to find anyone willing to come anywhere near matching them.

Miralem Pjanic will return from Besiktas at the end of the season as his deal has no option to buy, and you don't want another un-dumpable contract on your books.