By 90Min
May 22, 2019

The 2018/19 season has been a confusing one to look back on for Barcelona fans, as their absolute superiority domestically is rather overshadowed by their failure to conquer Europe; specifically the manner in which their Champions League campaign came to a halt (again). 

Ernesto Valverde's side had La Liga wrapped up with three games to spare and find themselves in yet another Copa del Rey final, vying to retain the title for a fifth consecutive season. This all sounds pretty rosy, however Lionel Messi's pre-season speech at Camp Nou specifically stated he would do everything he could to bring the Champions League trophy back to Barcelona - a task which he failed to complete. 

So, with the summer transfer window now open, who should stay and who should go in order for Messi to deliver on his vow and regain European domination once more. 


Goalkeepers

Marc-André ter Stegen - KEEP - The German keeper kept 23 clean sheets this season and is regarded as one of the best in the world at the moment. He has a contract until 2022 and although previously revealing his desire to quit the side in 2016 after a slow start in Catalonia, he is now fully committed to the cause. 

JOSEP LAGO/GettyImages

Jasper Cillessen - SELL - The Dutch keeper has been unsettled over the last three years due to spending most of his time warming the bench, only making 30 appearances in that period. It has been widely reported that he is looking to push through an exit this summer but wants to stay at a top European team. Time will tell which sides enter the race for the 30-year-old, but it's safe to say both club and player are keen for a transfer to go ahead. 


Full Backs

Jordi Alba - KEEP - The 30-year-old recently signed a blockbuster new five year deal with the club, keeping him there until 2024. He has 298 caps for them and is widely regarded as one of the most attacking left backs in modern football.

Sergi Roberto - KEEP - After rejecting interest from other parties, Roberto signed a new contract in 2018 and is versatile enough to play on either side of defence or push up into midfield. This makes him a crucial part of Valverde's system.

Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Nelson Semedo - KEEP - After Joining in 2017 the defender largely plays second fiddle to Roberto, and reports suggest he is looking for more playing time. However, he has featured 44 times this season and could push his way into the side ahead of Roberto if he continues his fine form. A buyout clause of £100m is sure to put off potential buyers and Barca shouldn't let him go due to their lack of top quality depth in the full back area.


Centre Backs

Thomas Vermaelen - RELEASE - The former Arsenal captain has only made 12 appearances this season and his contract is up at the end of June. There is no sign of a contract extension and with young talent waiting in the shadows, it's time for him to move on. His experience should alert plenty of clubs who are looking to reinforce their back-line. 

Gerard Pique - KEEP - A rock at the back for the past decade, Pique is one of the best in Europe right now and his place for next season is safe.

Samuel Umtiti - SELL - Hampered by injury problems since winning the World Cup last summer, Umtiti has since recovered but has been unable to regain his starting spot in Valverde's lineup. Linked with the likes of Man Utd, it could be wise to cash in on the 25-year-old, especially with the potential arrival of Matthijs de Ligt which would drop the Frenchman further down the pecking order.

Clément Lenglet - KEEP - Lenglet has made 43 appearances this season, filling the space left by injured Umtiti. His excellent performances have lead to his first inclusion in the Fance squad and is contracted until 2023. Definite 'Keep'. 

JAVIER SORIANO/GettyImages

Jean-Clair Todibo - LOAN - The 19-year-old is seen as an exciting prospect, however with little experience at the top level he is likely to be loaned out this summer. Potential suitors have emerged in the form of Roma and Ajax, the latter could work out as a friendly gesture in return for the signing of De Ligt. 

Jeison Murillo - RELEASE - Murillo signed for the Catalans on loan in January and has since only managed to make four appearances. The club have the option to buy him for £22.6m, however judging on the amount of game time he has been entrusted with, this seems like a waste of money. It would be a wiser option to invest that money in a proven prospect elsewhere or give Todibo a chance in the senior squad. 


Central Midfielders

David Ramos/GettyImages

Sergio Busquets - KEEP - The best defensive midfielder in the world - enough reason to keep the Spaniard.

Carles Aleñá - KEEP - This was Aleñá's first season with the senior squad and he made 22 appearances. An academy graduate, he has plenty of years ahead of him at the club and at only 21 years old, he will be looking to take over Rakatic in the future. 

Arthur Melo - KEEP - Widely tipped as the next Xavi, Arthur is key to Valverde's plans and his side are definitely stronger with him in the starting lineup. He will be essential in midfield next season.

David Ramos/GettyImages

Ivan Rakitic - KEEP - There is much speculation around the Croatian's future amid reports of a move to Inter, however he publicly posted an update on social media recently where he blasted these reports and stated his desire to stay at Barcelona. This seems like the right move for both player and club. Although his performances have suffered somewhat this season, he should be kept on board in order to work with new signing Frenkie de Jong. It would provide competition for Rakitic therefore forcing him to up his game and in turn help nurture youngster De Jong. 

Auturo Vidal - KEEP - Although his robust and sometimes petulant behaviour on the pitch are annoying for the majority of football fans, this is exactly what Valverde needs at Barcelona. He provides the legs in midfield that Arthur sometimes lacks and will be useful next season. 

Rafinha - SELL (If Possible) - A season ending injury left him with only eight appearances this term and put an end to a possible departure from Camp Nou in the January window, when reports of a permanent move back to Inter hit the headlines. His contract is up in 2020 so if the player can persuade clubs that he can make a full recovery from injury, a deal should be put into place this summer.


Wingers and Forwards

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Philippe Coutinho - SELL - A lack of love from the fans and a lack of trust from the manager seems to add up to a lack of a future for Coutinho at Barcelona. There's plenty of reported interest from top European sides and with the potential arrival of Antoine Griezmann looking likely, the departure of the Brazilian looks like the right move for both player and club. 


Ousmane Dembélé - KEEP - Ahead of Coutinho in the pecking order, Dembélé has been described as 'better' than Neymar by club President Josep Maria Bartomeu. He won't be going anywhere.

Kevin-Prince Boateng - RELEASE - On-loan from Sassuolo for the second half of the season, he struggled to make an impact and has only featured on four occasions. He won't be at Camp Nou next term. 

Lionel Messi - KEEP (Duh) - What a campaign the apparent fifth best footballer in the world has had. 50 goals for Barcelona this season along with 19 assists - their talisman has once again come up with the goods and according to former teammate Xavi, he still has "three or four good years left at the top level."

Malcom - SELL - Having only made six starts this season the Brazilian has been linked with Tottenham recently and could fetch in the region of £40m. Unlikely to make an impact while Messi, Suárez and Dembélé are around, it would be a good move to sell him while the interest is hot. 

Luis Suárez - KEEP - The 32-year-old chipped in with a not so measly 25 goals this season as well as ten assists and is still pivotal in Barcelona's front-line. He has a contract until 2021 which he will undoubtedly see out as his striking prowess is still very much valuable at the top level. 

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