FC Barcelona Could Sell Jordi Alba And Two More Catalan Defenders In 2023
It has been suggested that Jordi Alba and two other defenders could leave FC Barcelona this year ahead of the 2023/2024 season.
In the recent January transfer window, former La Masia player Hector Bellerin ended an unflattering loan spell by agreeing to join Sporting Lisbon.
Outclassed in Barca’s final Champions League group game against Bayern Munich in late October and given hell by Sadio Mane, the former Arsenal man clearly didn’t feature in Xavi’s first team plans and managed to muster less than 500 minutes across five appearances.
In the next few months, though, Jordi Alba could join him departing Camp Nou according to Spanish sports magazine Don Balon as relayed by El Nacional.
Alba still has a contract until 2024, but his high salary in times when Barca are reportedly being made to shave €200mn ($218mn) off the wage bill to meet La Liga and Financial Fair Play limits, plus the emergence of Alejandro Balde, means the Blaugrana could already look to offload him.
On Thursday, it was reported that Sergi Roberto has rejected Barca’s first offer of a contract renewal. And if this isn’t rectified, the full back will be looking for a new employer who he can join free of charge after June 30.
Last on the potential list of defensive departures is Eric Garcia. Joining on a free transfer himself from Manchester City in 2023, the 22-year-old has failed to nail down a starting role in the heart of the back line despite the retirement of Gerard Pique.
Realistically, though, Barca should do all they can to hold on to Alba and Roberto given their experience and a lack of squad depth in their areas of the pitch.
Granted Balde and Jules Kounde are doing a sterling job at left and right back. But should they become injured or suspended, Xavi could be left threadbare.
Alba is still among the best in the world in his position, and Roberto also offers versatility while able to operate as a midfielder too.
Of the three, it is probably best to part ways with Garcia. Given the strong central defensive partnership formed by Ronald Araujo and Andreas Christensen, there is no space for the Martorell native who would also find competition from Kounde in years to come.
Furthermore, the potential arrival of World Cup winner Benjamin Pavard, for whom Bayern Munich have reportedly named their asking price this week, will also complicate his plight further.
With a contract until 2024, Garcia could also still command a reasonable transfer fee and Barca can make a profit on him which frees up money for other acquisitions to strengthen the squad elsewhere.