Barcelona are reportedly set to engage in a mass January clearout, with Paco Alcacer, Arda Turan and Thomas Vermaelen on the axing list.
Spanish publication Sport have reported that Barcelona are set to offload a trio of outcasts in the winter transfer window. Ernesto Valverde is keen to move on Arda Turan, Thomas Vermaelen and Paco Alcacer as he does not see a future for the trio at Camp Nou.
The Barcelona boss has informed his board that he does not like to work with a big squad, and he is eager to cut the size of his unit down to 21 by axing the aforementioned players in January. On top of the clearout list is Arda Turan, who is yet to feature in a competitive game this season.
The Turkish forward moved to Barcelona from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2015, but has seen his career come to a grinding halt at Camp Nou. Having made a mere 24 starts over the last two seasons, the dream move has turned into a nightmare for Turan, with things not taking a turn for the better under Ernesto Valverde either.
The Barcelona boss does not see a future for Turan at the club, and moving him on is a priority. The player was heavily linked with a return to Galatasaray, but a move failed to materialise.
The 3 players Barcelona wants to sell: Paco Alcacer, Thomas Vermaelan, and Arda Turan. The priority is to find a solution for Arda. pic.twitter.com/t2dbYWCHcX
— ~ (@UltraAutistic) October 9, 2017
While it is uncertain if the Turkish club will vie for him again in January, Arsenal seem to have rekindled their interest in the 30-year-old. The interest from the Gunners does come as a bit of a surprise.
But, with Alexis Sanchez looking set to depart from the Emirates either in January or next summer, Turan could possibly be viewed as a short-term replacement for the Chilean.
The next player on Barcelona’s list is Thomas Vermaelen. Like Turan, things haven’t been easy for the Belgian defender at Camp Nou, making just 21 appearances since joining the club in the summer of 2014. A spate of injuries have constantly kept him on the sidelines, meaning he has been unable to feature regularly.
The report suggests that Valverde is keen on retaining the services of Vermaelen, but that he will have to bide his time since he is the fourth-choice centre-back. However, the player is eager to join a club where he can secure regular first-team football in order to stake claim for a place in Belgium’s World Cup squad.
Meanwhile, Paco Alcacer, too, seems to have no future at Barcelona, having failed to feature since the Blaugrana’s tie against Alaves in August. Therefore, an unsuccessful switch to Camp Nou looks set to come to an end in January, although it’s unclear if Barcelona will be able to find any suitors for him.
It now remains to be seen if Valverde succeeds in cutting down his squad size in January, with Turan, Vermaelen and Alcacer on the closer to the exit door at Camp Nou.