- 3 December
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What to expect from Barcelona in the January transfer window
Barcelona’s January transfer window is largely dependent on their precarious financial situation. It is no secret that the club’s strength in the transfer market has been severely damaged and so fans must be realistic.
Links to the likes of Lautaro Martinez, which came last January but feels like decades ago now, are fanciful and will never happen. This is not a team that has the resources to go out and spend a huge sum on a single player, even if some high-value players are shipped out.
So what does the month of January look like for the Blaugrana?
Barcelona’s January priorities
For a long time the centre-back position was a real issue. Gerard Pique’s long-term knee injury, which will likely see him miss the remainder of the season, pressed the issue further. The need has been lessened slightly by Ronaldo Araujo’s form and the promotion of Oscar Mingueza from the B Team. Still, Ronald Koeman has utilised a back three in recent weeks and even with Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti’s return to fitness, another body in there wouldn’t be wasted.
Eric Garcia has all but announced that he will be returning to Catalunya. The former La Masia centre-back has made it clear he is not renewing his deal with Manchester City; the only question is whether he will return to Barca on a free in the summer or for a nominal fee in January.
But even paying a small fee – likely around £8m – is still a stretch to Barca’s finance at the moment. This deal will definitely happen, it’s just a matter of when.
Any other business?
Memphis Depay has made no secret of his desire to leave Lyon and move to Barcelona. But in a similar vein to the Garcia situation, Barca are likely to sit tight and negotiate terms with Depay in the summer. He is out of contract and seems in no rush to agree terms, and as long as his former national team boss Koeman is at Camp Nou, that would be his preferred destination.
Barca have plenty of options in attack and still have Ansu Fati to come back from injury. So while he is a player they want and one who would improve them, they will be content to wait and get him on a free.
The only other business is the case of Lionel Messi. He’s currently free to negotiate with other teams as of now, but he is enjoying his football in the past few weeks, particularly playing with Pedri. PSG and Man City wait in the wings, but nothing will happen in January.