Barcelona reportedly used last summer's failure to sign Marco Verratti from Paris Saint-Germain to shape their transfer policy this year by refusing to be kept waiting by clubs unwilling to do business and switching to more attainable targets.
Barça wasted too much time trying to negotiate with PSG last summer when it became clear that the French champions would not budge. It meant that when pursuits of Willian and Adrien Rabiot threatened to follow a similar path, the club knew they had to act.
According to Mundo Deportivo, the two players that Barça signed when looking for a winger and a central midfielder were both initially considered 'Plan B'.
The Catalans only went for Malcom, who at one point was set to join Roma, when Chelsea continued to reject offers for Willian, while PSG's unwillingness to let Rabiot go, despite the Frenchman having just a year left on his contract, turned the club onto Arturo Vidal.
There was no need for a 'Plan B' for Arthur or Clement Lenglet as neither transfer required a complex set of negotiations.
The deal for midfielder Arthur had already been secured with an option that was purchased several months earlier, while Barça triggered a €35m buyout clause to release centre-back Clement Lenglet from his contract at Sevilla.
Having won the Supercopa de España last week and beaten Boca Juniors in the annual Joan Gamper Trophy, Barça kick off their La Liga season this weekend when Alaves visit Camp Nou.
That will be followed by games against Real Valladolid, Huesca and Real Sociedad.