The summer transfer window has begun and Barcelona will start making important decisions ahead of the 2021/22 season. With their sights set on returning to European prominence and fighting for the Champions League and La Liga again, the Cules are not only thinking about possible signings but also about who could leave.
Ronald Koeman has already been under heavy fire in a sour first season as the Blaugrana boss and he will be expected to deliver much better results this time. Following the signings of Sergio Aguero, Eric García, and Memphis Depay as free agents plus Emerson's transfer from Betis, Barca might focus on the ones who could clear space in their roster.
The club is not only going through a delicate financial situation that forbids them to afford big signings, but it is also paying expensive contracts for players that have not seen the field frequently. Therefore, according to Goal, Barcelona could release two names that aren't a priority for Koeman.
The 31-year-old has not lived up to expectations at Camp Nou after a poor first year so far. Miralem Pjanic arrived at Barca last summer from Juventus, who received around $66 million and Arthur. Pjanic mostly played during the Champions League group stage, but in the second half of the 2020/21 season he has barely been chosen by Koeman.
Other European teams have reportedly shown interest in him, but Goal reported that he could be offered a compensation package to finish his contract earlier. Pjanic's deal with Barca runs out in 2024, but it seems unlikely that it will last until then. Koeman probably won't consider him for the long-term and despite there's interest from other sides, the club might want to agree to terms with the player to end his contract.
About four years since his arrival, Samuel Umtiti's time with Barcelona hasn't been convincing either, with the club expecting to have a solid central back in him but the player struggled to be consistent. The French defender has played very few minutes under Koeman and things might not get better from now on.
Umtiti is under contract until 2023, which is why he would be another costly release for Barca, but a necessary one if the coach won't be having him in his plans. With Eric García's signing, there's even less room for Umtiti with Gerard Piqué, Clement Lenglet, and Oscar Mingueza also above him.