Barcelona transfer overview: Possible outgoings and incomings before the window closes

By on August 31, 2023

Ansu Fati

Barcelona have made a strong start to the 2023-24 campaign, winning two of their opening three La Liga games. 

Last season, Xavi Hernandez’s side surprised everyone by winning the La Liga, quite comfortably in the end. They do have a strong side this time around as well, but will it be enough for them to retain the title?

The Catalans struggled in Europe last season but fans with Barcelona tickets are confident the club will be contenders on all fronts this campaign. However, the likes of Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid will also be looking to mount a serious challenge – both domestically as well as in Europe – which means it won’t be easy for the Catalan giants like last season.

After a drab 0-0 draw in the opening game against Getafe, the Blaugrana managed back-to-back wins against Cadiz and Villarreal. Robert Lewandowski scored his first goal of the season, as Barcelona won 4-3 against the Yellow Submarines away from home.

Barcelona’s financial plight has been well documented. Still, it was expected that they would bolster their squad this summer. For a brief phase, it felt like they could welcome back Lionel Messi at Camp Nou, but that didn’t happen.

Barcelona’s summer transfer window

Once again, Barcelona needed to offload some of their players to fund moves for new arrivals. At the start of the summer window, it felt like the club would have to sell the likes of Raphinha or Gavi, but both have stayed on.

Antoine Griezmann has joined Atletico permanently after he impressed heavily last season on loan. The Frenchman is a world-class attacking midfielder but his move to Barcelona didn’t work according to the plan.

His absence probably won’t hurt Barcelona, but Ousmane Dembele’s exit could. Dembele is one of those players who joined on a big money transfer but failed to realise his potential. At times, the Frenchman has looked unplayable, but he suffered from a series of injury problems. When Paris Saint-Germain came up with a tempting offer, Barcelona decided to cash in.

The Catalan giants also allowed a host of players to leave the club on a free transfer. The likes of Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba, Samuel Umtiti and Alex Collado left the club following the expiry of their contracts.

Likewise, Trincao, Nico Gonzalez and Franck Kessie moved to Sporting, FC Porto and Al-Ahli respectively.

Barcelona have really surprised everyone with their lack of signings. Ilkay Gundogan joined from Manchester City on a free transfer. Inigo Martinez has joined from Athletic Bilbao on a free transfer as well. He should come in as a replacement for Umtiti.

Former Southampton midfielder Oriol Romeu has joined from Girona for a measly fee.

Transfer news: Who could join? Who could leave? 

Clement Lenglet is definitely one of the players who is destined to leave the club in the summer transfer window. The France international will join on loan and Villa could include the option to buy him at the end of the season.

Unai Emery has been keen to add depth at the back after Tyrone Mings suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury on the opening weekend of the Premier League season.

New sporting director Monchi knows Lenglet after he signed him from Nancy in January 2017 before he departed for Roma. Lenglet did not play a single minute of preseason, and Barcelona have been trying to offload him throughout the summer.

Lenglet spent last season on loan at Tottenham Hotspur where he made 35 appearances in all competitions.

Ansu Fati was once seen as the next big star emerging out of Barcelona’s youth academy. In recent years, he has struggled badly with injuries. While he still has the age to resurrect his career, he is way down the pecking order at the moment.

Both Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur have been linked with a move for Fati and they have been offered the chance to sign him on loan. Chelsea are on the verge of signing Manchester City starlet Cole Palmer which means they are unlikely to hijack Spurs’ ongoing talks to sign the 20-year-old.

However, Spurs are likely to suffer a transfer blow here. Brighton have come out of nowhere and they are on the verge of signing the youngster on loan. The deal will not include an option or obligation to buy, while Brighton are likely to cover the majority of Fati’s wages.

The talented winger will travel to England this week to finalize his move to Brighton.

There could be one or two late arrivals as well, and one of them could be Joao Cancelo. 

The Portuguese international has long been out of favour of Pep Guardiola. He spent the second half of 2022/23 out on loan at Bayern Munich. The German giants had the option to sign him permanently but they chose not to do so.

The full-back returned to Manchester, where he is yet to play a single minute of competitive football this season. Barcelona want to sign him on loan, where they will cover most of Cancelo’s wages. The defender is waiting for a green light to take his medical before officially putting pen to paper, but the two clubs are yet to strike a deal.

It has been suggested that Barcelona are prepared to remove the buy option clause from Cancelo’s deal in order to get Financial Fair Play approval.

Xavi wants him at Camp Nou, and chances are high that he will join Barcelona before the transfer deadline.

The departure of Fati to Brighton could pave the way for the arrival of Joao Felix. The attacking midfielder joined Chelsea on loan last season but he failed to make an impact. Mauricio Pochettino doesn’t want him at Stamford Bridge while he is not in Diego Simeone’s plans either.

Due to FFP restrictions, Barcelona needed to offload one or two players to sign Felix. It was thought that Xavi wasn’t too sure about Felix, rather he wanted to sign Bernardo Silva instead. Despite wide speculation, Silva has penned a new contract extension at City, and it leaves Barcelona with little option but to sign Felix.

Jorge Mendes and Deco have been key to taking Felix to Camp Nou but it’s not as straightforward as it seems.

Mamadou Fall could join Barcelona on loan, and they may have a purchase option. The Catalan giants are in advanced talks to sign the LAFC centre-back, while Villarreal are also interested.

A move to Villa is almost certain for Lenglet, while the same can be said about Fati who is edging closer to joining Brighton. All eyes will be on Cancelo and Felix, and whether Barcelona can sign both before the end of the window.