Transfer Talk: How Barca can make room for a Messi return
Chaos at Barcelona is a crucial ingredient in the summer transfer window recipe nowadays.
Xavi's LaLiga champions seem to be in a permanent state of upheaval and the drama surrounding Lionel Messi's potential Camp Nou return looks set to be the headline act of their off-season.
Sporting director Johan Cruyff is out of the door, with former star Deco arriving to head up the club's transfer activity.
The Portuguese's priority will be to create room on the balance sheet to both bring back Messi and ensure that starlet Gavi can be re-registered over the summer.
We take a look at the five first-team players reportedly under threat.
After 11 seasons and 457 appearances, Jordi Alba's time at Barcelona could be up.
The left-back has been usurped by Spanish flyer Alejandro Balde, who has played the fourth-most league minutes of any Barca player this season and made five appearances for Spain.
Alba still has plenty to offer some of the biggest clubs in Europe. Inter were credited with interest last summer, while Newcastle are capable of covering his wages and could be looking to upgrade in his position.
Franck Kessie was reportedly concerned about his playing time within weeks of signing for Barcelona last summer and a swift departure seems likely.
Sitting behind Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong, Gavi and Pedri in the pecking order, the Ivorian never seemed likely to make a significant impact.
He will always have the last-gasp El Clasico winner that all but sealed Barca's LaLiga title in March to remember for his efforts, however.
Tottenham reportedly want Kessie to improve their midfield options, while all of the top teams in England — including Manchester City and Liverpool — are keen to recruit in that area, too.
It would seem harsh on Raphinha to be dumped by Barcelona after a solid debut season, but such is the allure of a return for Messi that nothing is off the table.
The Brazilian sits atop the Catalan outfit's assists chart this season — also ranking second to Robert Lewandowski for goals — but would command a fee that could go a long way to solving his club's financial issues by itself.
Newcastle could make the 26-year-old a landmark summer signing, while Arsenal will be after some proper competition for Bukayo Saka down their right flank as they embark on their first Champions League campaign in seven years.
Selling Ansu Fati would seem like the most desperate move of all considering that the academy graduate was not long ago considered the best attacking academy prospect since Messi.
Fati has not kicked on as spectacularly as might have been hoped this season, but the raft of offensive signings blocking his path could be considered a key contributor to his stunted development.
The 20-year-old has still made the third-most league appearances for Xavi's side this term and Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal all seemingly want to bring him to England.
Signing Ferran Torres from Manchester City for £50m just 18 months ago looks like another expensive mistake for Barcelona, considering how little he has played.
The Spaniard has only started 13 of their 34 league matches so far this season, while City used less than half of that fee to bring Julian Alvarez to the Premier League.
Torres remains a quality player, though, and Arsenal's need for another reliable forward justifies their reported interest.