Barcelona: Koeman on Messi's future after defeat
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Barcelona chief Joan Laporta would love to sign Erling Haaland when the transfer window reopens this summer. With 31 goals in the Bundesliga and Champions League combined, it’s certainly easy to see why. So Express Sport will now take a look at how the Catalan giants could look next term if they land the Norway international, as well as sealing deals for Memphis Depay, Georginio Wijnaldum and Eric Garica.
GK: Ter Stegen
One player who won’t be going anywhere anytime soon is Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.
Upon signing from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2014, he initially found himself stuck behind Claudio Bravo in the pecking order.
But, ever since Bravo’s move to Manchester City nearly five years ago, Ter Stegen has flourished between the sticks.
The Barcelona star is rightly considered one of the best goalkeepers on the planet and, this term, he’s still been consistent amid a turbulent season.
So he’ll be their No 1 for the foreseeable future, barring any sudden downturns in form.
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Defence: Dest, Garcia, Pique, Alba
Barcelona stalwarts Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba have both impressed this season.
Despite entering the twilight years of their careers, they’re still undroppable in the eyes of Ronald Koeman.
Sergio Dest, meanwhile, has sparkled ever since his arrival from Ajax.
So Barcelona’s defence is merely in need of some minor tinkering.
With Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti both potentially leaving this summer, Garcia could walk into the side at centre-back.
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Midfield: Wijnaldum, De Jong
Sergio Busquets isn’t the player he was a decade ago and the time will come where Barcelona have to demote him to the bench.
And that time could be this summer if Wijnaldum arrives.
Though they’ve denied reaching a pre-agreement with the Liverpool midfielder, that move is still expected to take place at the end of the campaign.
The Netherlands international was wanted by Koeman last summer and will become a free agent at the end of the campaign.
And, if all goes to plan, then Frenkie de Jong will be lining up alongside his compatriot in the future – even if his lack of consistency remains an issue.
Forwards: Depay, Griezmann, Messi, Haaland
What a front four this would be.
Barcelona are growing increasingly confident of keeping hold of Lionel Messi, despite links to PSG and Manchester City refusing to die down.
And they could keep hold of Antoine Griezmann should the France international step up until now and the end of the season.
Messi and Depay could line up on opposite flanks, with Griezmann in the No 10 position.
And that would allow Barcelona to deploy Erling Haaland at the tip of their attack.
Barcelona next five fixtures:
Valladolid – April 5 – La Liga
Real Madrid – April 10 – La Liga
Athletic Bilbao – April 17 – Copa del Rey final
Getafe – April 21 – La Liga
Villarreal – April 25 – La Liga
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