Barcelona tried very hard and quickly to fill every position that needed players during the summer transfer window, but they were unsuccessful. Only on the day of the deadline, for instance, were deals for Hector Bellerin and Marcos Alonso finalized.
In addition, they were unsuccessful in finding a replacement for Sergio Busquets, in part because Miralem Pjanic chose to leave the team for Al Sharjah in pursuit of playing time.
The fact that Gerard Pique announced his retirement in the middle of the season, leaving Barça with four rather injured center backs, makes their issues even worse.
Unfortunately, it appears that because of La Liga’s FFP regulations, the Catalans won’t be able to push as hard as they would have liked in January. This was confirmed by President Joan Laporta in an interview with EFE.
Barcelona had a good number of players on their radar for the winter, if rumors are to be believed. Inigo Martinez of Athletic Club was a front-runner in the competition for the central defensive position because his contract expires in July 2023.
Other names were also being bandied about with fairly reliable support, including Ruben Neves of Wolverhampton Wanderers, Martin Zubimendi of Real Sociedad, Youri Tielemans of Leicester City, Ilkay Gundogan of Manchester City, and Arnau Martinez of Girona.
Barcelona’s focus will move to renewing a few crucial players, like Alejandro Balde, who has surprised coaches and fans alike with his breakout season, if they are unable to make any signings in January.
To the surprise of the Camp Nou crowd, Alonso’s extension is also very much on the table.
However, the Blaugranes will also have to contend with a few players leaving, starting with Memphis Depay. The Dutchman’s contract runs through the summer of 2019 and the club plans to put him up for sale in January in an effort to raise cash.