Barcelona finished without a trophy across the 2021-22 season, and now it’s up to the Catalan giants to retool for a revitalized campaign next season.
The club made a strong second-half push and secured Champions League play for next season, saving face for an otherwise fruitless campaign.
Still, there are many questions to answer. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was a fresh face in January and proved a shrewd acquisition, finding his best form at the Camp Nou and helping Barcelona to a second-place finish in the league. Still, Aubameyang is 34 years old and could be on his last legs.
Ousmane Dembele is out of contract and could leave the club this summer on a free transfer, and there are rumors of an upgrade needed in midfield.
The biggest elephant in the room for Barcelona is the ongoing financial situation at the club. It’s generally held that the club is in a dire financial position, and must generate most of its transfer funds by outgoing player sales of nearly equal value. This will be something for both the club and fans to keep in mind as Barcelona navigate the transfer window, and lower-value transfers could become a priority given the financial position of the club.
The Sporting News is rounding up the key updates — all day, every day — below.
Latest Barcelona transfer news
Last update: June 19, 15:20 ET / 20:20 BST
Latest on Robert Lewandowski transfer
The relationship between club and player has completely broken down, with Lewandowski saying “my story with Bayern has come to an end.” Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn, not happy with this definitive public statement, hit back saying, “why Robert has chosen this path, I cannot tell you. Appreciation is not a one-way street.” According to Spanish publication Sport, Lewandowski has decided he will hold out during Bayern Munich preseason.
UPDATE (June 13): Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong has hinted at his delight over links between Robert Lewandowski and the La Liga giants. Interviewed after the Netherlands 2-2 UEFA Nations League draw with Poland, the 25-year-old was asked about the possibility of Lewandowski heading to the Camp Nou.
“He’s an amazing player, one of the best in the world,” as per quotes from the Daily Mirror. “It’s up to him [whether he joins Barcelona]. Of course I would like to have Lewandowski in my team.”
UPDATE (Jun 12): Manchester United are ready to step in and sign Lewandowski if Barcelona cannot accommodate his £400,000-a-week wages, according to a report.
The Sun says that United, who want a striker, would have to pay a maximum of £20m for Lewandowski and are one of the Premier League clubs to have been sounded out by the Poland captain’s representatives.
UPDATE (June 6): Lewandowski is still pushing for a move, saying “something has died in me, I want to leave Bayern to have more emotions in my life.” Two days prior, Fabrizio Romano reported that Lewandowski has a verbal agreement for a three-year deal at Barcelona.
Barcelona have been considered the frontrunners for Lewandowski’s signature for months, but according to La Liga boss Javier Tebas in late May, the Catalan club must “sell assets and earn more [revenue]” in order to make a big splash such as this. “Today, they cannot sign him,” Tebas said, referring to Lewandowski.
Ousmane Dembele in new contract talks
Ousmane Dembele is out of contract this summer, and while in January it seemed sure the Frenchman would leave the club, his excellent form through the second half of the season has seen Barcelona apparently reconsider its position.
Still, with Dembele now able to talk with other clubs freely, Barcelona are forced to compete on the open market to re-sign its 25-year-old wide man. If Dembele leaves, it could spark multiple rumors for other wingers as a replacement, such as Raphinha of Leeds United.
UPDATE (June 19): Dembele is reportedly close to a move to Chelsea, according to The Sun, with Romelu Lukaku hoping to leave and return to Inter. The 25-year-old wants assurances from Thomas Tuchel that he will be a regular starter, which could be a hang-up in the deal.
UPDATE (June 6): While ESPN reported in April that the two sides had reopened contract talks, Barcelona now have to compete on the open market, and that could prove difficult. Spanish publication Sport reports that PSG have pulled out of signing Dembele, leaving just Chelsea and Barcelona as the remaining options. Mundo Deportivo, meanwhile, reports that Barcelona are also beginning to think about pulling out of negotiations with Dembele, having already submitted a last contract offer that will not be increased.
Will Frenkie de Jong leave for Man United?
Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong has settled into an everyday role at Barcelona, but there has been massive speculation that the club could sacrifice de Jong as a valuable asset in order to raise the funds necessary for other transfers. De Jong himself stated that he would “prefer to stay with Barcelona,” but he could be pushed to leave if a worthwhile deal arrives.
UPDATE (June 19): In a video of Man United chief executive Richard Arnold secretly recorded by a fan, the Red Devils exec admitted the club is working on a deal for de Jong, and that ten Hag “wants him” at Old Trafford.
UPDATE (June 16): As reported by Metro, Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag expects to be reunited with Frenkie de Jong next season, with the pair having previously worked together at Ajax.
UPDATE (June 6): According to Spanish publication Sport, Manchester United have sanctioned the funds necessary to complete a deal for de Jong, but the biggest hurdle remaining is convincing the player to leave Barcelona.
Ruben Neves to join from Wolves?
Midfield is a position of need for Barcelona, and 25-year-old Wolves star Ruben Neves is possibly seeking an upgrade with his contract up in two years. The Portuguese international has been a star at the holding midfield position for years in the Premier League and could flourish at Barcelona when surrounded by talent. Wolves will likely demand a hefty transfer fee for the club’s most valuable player.
Latest UPDATE (June 6): Spanish publication Sport reported in late April that agent Jorge Mendes is working on a deal to get Neves to Barcelona, and they recently have pushed that further. Sport (as passed on by SportWitness) has now reported that because Wolves’ valuation of Neves (€50 million) is out of cash-strapped Barcelona’s range, the Spanish side has offered Riqui Puig, Oscar Mingueza and Martin Braithwaite as make-goods in a deal, but the only player that interests Wolves is Nico Gonzalez.
Raphinha to arrive from Leeds United?
Leeds United are weighing up whether to sell Raphinha this summer, with the 25-year-old Brazilian a wanted man and only two more years left on his contract. Still, the departure of Raphinha would significantly deplete the talent in the squad, and after just eking out victory in a relegation battle this past season, that could prove costly.
UPDATE (June 19): Fabrizio Romano reports that personal terms between Raphinha and Barcelona have been agreed since February, and Leeds’ valuation remains at €55 million ($59m / £47m). However, a decision has to be made with other clubs interested.
Raphinha’s representatives will meet with Barcelona shortly to gauge the club’s interest, according to Mundo Deportivo. The report states that Raphinha is the go-to if Dembele departs, and the club has made financial moves to free up space. The player has reportedly told all other suitors his desire is to join Barcelona if they make an official move, which has not happened yet.
UPDATE (June 5): According to Fabrizio Romano, Leeds will only consider selling Raphinha on two “conditions” previously laid out: That it nets a €55 million ($59m / £47m) profit, and that the payment be made in one installment. That will anger Barcelona who have very little financial flexibility this summer.
Other Barcelona transfer rumors
|June 15||Goncalo Inacio||A Bola||Barcelona are interested in signing the 20-year-old
Sporting defender. Man United are also in the mix.
|June 14||Angel Di Maria||Sport||The Argentine is reportedly a backup option should
the deal for Raphinha fall through, but it’s still thought
Di Maria will sign for Juventus.
|June 9||Bernardo Silva||Fabrizio Romano,
|A meeting between agent Jorge Mendes and
Barcelona boss Xavi included discussions over
a possible move for the Man City midfielder, but it
would take a whopping £80 million.
|June 9||Ilkay Gundogan||Bild||The Spanish side is “monitoring” Gundogan, who
is out of contract at Man City next summer.
|June 7||Gonzalo Moreno||Diario Sport||A report states that the Villarreal striker is a
backup option should the Lewandowski move fail,
but his €100 million release clause looms.
Barcelona Transfers: Summer 2022 transfer window
|June 30||Luuk de Jong||ST||30||Sevilla||Return of loan|
|June 30||Dani Alves||RB||39||—||Expiration of contract|
Dani Alves leaves Barcelona
The return of Dani Alves to Barcelona did not last long. Alves confirmed his departure on Instagram on June 15, saying: “I would like to thank all the staff for the opportunity they gave me to return to this club and to be able to wear that wonderful shirt again. You don’t know how happy I am.
In all, Alves made 407 appearances for Barcelona, winning six La Liga titles.
Dani Alves wanted to continue at Barcelona, he was open to discuss a short-term deal to prepare himself for the World Cup. But the club has decided against this possibility. ⛔️🇧🇷 #FCB
Dani Alves will leave Barça on a free transfer in the coming days. It’s over.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 15, 2022
Below is the updated Barcelona first-team roster. New additions during the summer 2022 window are noted in bold:
Goalkeepers (3): Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Neto, Arnau Tenas
Defenders (10): Jordi Alba (LB), Ronald Araujo (CB), Alex Balde (LB), Sergino Dest (RB), Eric Garcia (CB), Clement Lenglet (CB), Oscar Mingueza (CB), Gerard Pique (CB), Samuel Umtiti (CB),
Dani Alves (RB).
Midfielders (7): Sergio Busquets (DM), Frenkie de Jong (CM), Pedri (CM), Gavi (CM), Nico Gonzalez (CM), Riqui Puig (CM), Sergi Roberto (CM).
Forwards (8): Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (CF), Martin Braithwaite (CF), Ousmane Dembele (RW), Memphis Depay (CF), Ansu Fati (LW), Ferran Torres (RW), Adama Traore (RW),
Luuk de Jong (ST).
CB = center back; LB = left back; RB = right back; CM = central midfielder; CAM = attacking midfielder; CF = center forward; LW = left wing; RW = right wing
The current Barcelona projected first-choice starting lineup, when completely healthy, currently looks like:
Barcelona projected starting XI (4-3-3, left to right): Ter Stegen (GK) — Alba, Pique, Araujo, Alves — F. de Jong, Busquets, Pedri — Torres, Aubameyang, Dembele.