Ronald Koeman was announced as Quique Setien’s successor last week and he’s wasted no time in clearing the mess that was left for him at the Camp Nou.
The former Everton boss has begun with the Dutchman telling Luis Suarez, Arturo Vidal, Ivan Rakitic and Samuel Umtiti to find new clubs this summer.
Koeman’s first priority was speaking to a ‘furious’ Lionel Messi about his future at the club and though the Argentine remains unhappy with the club’s management, the Dutchman is confident that the 33-year-old will stay at the club.
Koeman wants to add to his squad but he’s unable to until the Catalans make a string of sales.
With that in mind, Koeman’s been particularly remorseless in his opening exchanges with the squad and the Guardian report that four players were told in one day that they are not needed any longer.
Suarez, 33, is the biggest name of the quartet. The former Ajax star is Barcelona’s third highest scorer of all-time and he inspired the club to their last Champions League success in 2015 following his £75m arrival from Liverpool.
However, Koeman believes the forward’s days of leading the line are over and that years of troublesome knee injuries have taken their toll on the Uruyguayan.
Suarez is said to be furious at Koeman and believes that even if he’s to leave the club, he deserves a better farewell than one phone call after the season has finished.
Rakitic, 32, has made 30+ league appearances for Barcelona in every single one of his six seasons at the club since he joined from Sevilla in 2014.
However, the previous campaign was the Croatian’s worst in terms of performance and he managed just one goal in 42 appearances, having managed an average of nearly 8 in previous seasons.
It’s unclear how much Barcelona could raise for the midfielder on the market but Koeman made it clear that he should find a new club as he’s not in his plans.
Vidal could seek a return to Italy after he was told he was surplus to requirements.
The 33-year-old has spent two seasons in Spain after joining from Bayern Munich and former club Juventus are said to be interested in re-signing him, given former team-mate Andrea Pirlo is now in charge in Turin.
Samuel Umtiti has long been linked with an exit from the Camp Nou and the former Lyon ace could fetch a decent amount on the open market given he’s just 26.