Analysis: Evaluating Barcelona’s best options for big money sales this summer

Due to their ongoing crippling financial woes, Barcelona will be forced into making at least one significant sale this summer, which would allow them to balance the books ahead of the start of next season. Furthermore, it could also allow excess money to be available to their next manager, with Xavi Hernandez on course to step aside.

Several candidates have emerged as candidates to be Barcelona’s “big money sale(s)”. Jules Kounde and Raphinha had been the most likely a few weeks ago, but now, a recent report has suggested that Ronald Araujo – who would command a larger fee – will be available on the market.

It comes on the back of Barcelona’s Champions League exit, and Araujo’s dismissal in the second leg defeat was a major contribution towards Paris Saint-Germain’s progression. The Uruguayan defender wouldn’t be short of suitors if put on the market, with Bayern Munich and Manchester United having previously been listed as interested clubs.

However, while it was a big error from Araujo against PSG, he should be one of the last players to be sold this summer. Although he has struggled this season, he is still a leading centre-back in world football, and considering that he is only 24 years of age, he still has his best years ahead of him.

Araujo and Pau Cubarsi should be Barcelona’s long-term partnership in the centre of defence, which is perhaps why Jules Kounde would be a significantly better candidate to be sold. The Frenchman has been playing at right-back over the last few months, and although he has been very impressive, the Blaugrana will surely want to put a natural option there in the coming years, such as Joao Cancelo, who has often played on the left because of Alejandro Balde’s season-ending injury.

Kounde is a very good player, but there’s an argument to suggest that he isn’t as needed as the likes of Araujo, Raphinha or even Frenkie de Jong, who has been linked with Bayern Munich of late. It would also allow Hector Fort to have a proper chance of playing regularly, and there is more than enough cover in the centre, with Araujo, Cubarsi, Andreas Christensen and also Mikayil Faye coming through.

In the case of de Jong, it could also make sense to let him go, although at this stage, it is unwise because Barcelona’s midfield options aren’t as good as they could be, especially with Gavi coming back from a serious knee injury. The main reason that a sale for the Dutchman could, and maybe should, be sought is because of his salary situation, with Barcelona cannot afford to keep as it is.

It remains to be seen how Barcelona approach this situation in the summer. They do have options for these big sales, but it’s about choosing the right one: who could the board determine that to be?

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