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Free transfers Barcelona could plot for 2023 summer transfer window

Barcelona’s financial situation is still shambolic and it’s unlikely the club will be able to support Xavi’s exciting project with an array of lucrative signings this summer.

Players will have to depart in a bid to balance the books and loosen the purse strings somewhat, and we should see the free agent market targeted once again by La Blaugrana.

Fortunately, there are several marquee names who could potentially be available for nothing this summer.

Here are six free agents Barcelona could target ahead of the 2023/24 campaign.

Milan Skriniar

Milan Skrinian is among Europe’s very best centre-backs / Marco Canoniero/GettyImages

While time is beginning to catch up with Stefan de Vrij and Alessandro Bastoni’s form has taken a slide, Skriniar has remained an imperious figure in Inter’s defence.

The Slovakian defender has gone from strength to strength after initially struggling to settle in Antonio Conte’s back three during the Italian’s first season at the club. He’s established himself as one of Europe’s most stout defenders, and any side would be lucky to get ahold of him should he depart San Siro on a free transfer this summer.

Barcelona are pretty well stocked at centre-back with Andreas Christensen impressing since his move, but a player of Skriniar’s talent will be tough for La Blaugrana to overlook.

Raphael Guerreiro

Raphael Guerreiro is set to leave Dortmund in the summer / Marvin Ibo Guengoer – GES Sportfoto/GettyImages

Jordi Alba continues to play at a high level, while 19-year-old Alejandro Balde looks destined to emerge as the Spaniard’s successor in Catalonia.

But Guerreiro’s potential availability in the summer could throw a spanner in the works. The diminutive left-back is a player that’d certainly suit Xavi’s system and his quality can’t be ignored.

He’s excellent in possession and always eager to make an impact in the final third. Although, his production has tailed off as of late, hinting that he needs a change of scenery to help rediscover his most potent form.

Guerreiro is destined to move on from Dortmund this summer, and he’ll certainly have his fair share of suitors.

Ilkay Gundogan

Barcelona have been linked with a move for the Manchester City midfielder / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Barcelona are blessed with an array of young midfield stars, yet they could still bolster their core with the signing of veteran German international Ilkay Gundogan.

The impressively intelligent Manchester City midfielder has excelled in various functions at the Etihad, and it’d be interesting to see whether he drifts into a deeper position during the latter stages of his career.

Gundogan could rotate with the likes of Sergio Busquets and Frenkie de Jong at the base of Barcelona’s midfield should La Blaugrana make a move for the impending free agent.

The La Liga giants hold a strong interest in the German, and this is a move that appears likely to happen.

Youssoufa Moukoko

Young Youssoufa Moukoko is attracting plenty of interest / Marvin Ibo Guengoer – GES Sportfoto/GettyImages

Moukoko is already garnering plenty of interest for his services in the summer with the young striker’s contract at Dortmund running down.

The teenager is poised to move on with the likes of Chelsea and Newcastle interested. Barcelona, too, could join the party given their need at striker.

Sure, Robert Lewandowski remains one of the very best in the world but they need a succession plan. Memphis Depay doesn’t appear to be the answer and Moukoko could prove to be a savvy piece of business from Barça.

The teenager will be handed the chance to develop at his own rate while Lewandowski remains proficient before eventually emerging as the club’s long-term number nine.

Marcus Thuram

Marcus Thuram endured World Cup heartbreak in the winter / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Thuram impressed for France during his limited appearances at the World Cup and will be available on a free transfer this summer should no club sign him at a discounted price in January.

The physically impressive forward has enjoyed a bounce-back season in 2022/23 following two lean years and, at 25, is yet to enter his prime years. Thuram’s versatility renders him an intriguing option for Barcelona, who could do with more depth up top and out wide, especially if the likes of Ferran Torres and Raphinha depart.

The French international is capable of functioning as a number nine and out on the left wing.

Lionel Messi, Leo Messi

Is it time for a reunion? / Jean Catuffe/GettyImages

This is a reunion that the footballing world needs. It’s our answer to American Pie.

2022 was the year of Lionel Messi after he conquered his final peak in Qatar by leading Argentina to World Cup glory off the back of a majestic individual campaign. His form for Paris Saint-Germain has been imperious, too, but there are no guarantees he’ll remain in the French capital beyond the summer.

Barcelona vice president Eduard Romeu said Messi’s reunion would be “possible financially” but added the final decision will be determined by the “coaching staff and the player”.

The Argentine has the option to extend his PSG stay by another year. Yawn.

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