FC Barcelona Transfer News: Most Likely Players to Leave Camp Nou
FC Barcelona have overcome a difficult period in early 2013, and they look set to reclaim La Liga while fighting for their fourth Champions League title in just eight seasons.
In their comeback against AC Milan last week, the Blaugrana looked simply unplayable, a complete team.
Yet problems have arisen throughout the season, and one can only expect that Barca will be an active force in the summer transfer window.
Maintaining a team of the highest quality often requires a cutthroat mentality, and for every player that arrives at the fabled Camp Nou, another must make way.
Gloves Changing Hands?
Victor Valdes has always had his critics in and outside Barcelona, but after almost 12 years of service he has become one of Barca's most appreciated players.
So in January, when his agent announced that he would not be renewing his contract with the club, fans were left heartbroken.
After years of going underappreciated, Valdes is clearly seeking new challenges.
Arsenal continue to be the club most intensely linked with Barca's No. 1. Indeed, Thierry Henry has reportedly been trying to convince his former teammate to move to the Emirates at the end of the season.
Brazil, however, could prove the change the Spanish international craves.
His admiration for the country and its football culture is well noted. After visiting the country last summer he claimed: "I wouldn't rule out playing here in the future."
Not Moving just yet?
Valdes, however, still has a contract with Barca until 2014, and the club would prefer to hold on to their man until then.
The option of departing in 2013 would hinge on the possibility of signing a replacement.
Chance of Leaving
Not that it needs to be stated again; the primary objective for Barcelona this summer will be strengthening defence.
The Catalans have conceded 31 goals in La Liga thus far and have failed to settle upon an established back four.
Injuries and inconsistent performances have led to a chorus of voices calling for a new centre-back and Roma's Marquinhos appears to be top of the list. According to reports, Barca will table a €25 million bid for the young Brazilian.
Youth to Make Way
Javier Mascherano has hardly convinced for Barcelona, often making costly blunders, but the Argentine is held in high regard by the coaching staff.
If new players are to arrive, it is more likely that the likes of Marc Muniesa and Marc Bartra will look for game time elsewhere.
Mundo Deportivo reports that Bartra could be sent on loan in the summer. His chances of staying undoubtedly hinge on the next few months.
Chances of Leaving
Marc Bartra: 5/10
Marc Muniesa: 7/10
Javier Mascherano: 2/10
You could be forgiven for not knowing who wears the No. 12 jersey at Barcelona.
Jonathan dos Santos has started in just one game this season, and it was a completely meaningless one at that, a cup game against Deportivo Alaves.
The poor Mexican youngster has hardly even seen the bench.
Barca tried to convince Dos Santos to leave on loan last Summer, but the 22-year-old preferred to stay and fight for chances. Chances that never came.
While one has to admire his stubborn resolve, it is definitely time Jonathan moved on.
An Early Swan Song?
When Alex Song made his €19 million move from Arsenal last summer he did not expect to spend so much time on the bench.
The Cameroonian was purchased as a versatile tactical option, as I explained last August, but he has failed to adapt to the requirements of a Barca defender.
While he has not failed in the pivot role, nine league starts is too few for such a talented player.
Put simply, Song, like Yaya Toure before him, is too good to just be Sergio Busquets' stand-in.
The English press has already been circulating rumours that Song could return to Arsenal. That would not be the craziest thing that has happened.
Chances of Leaving
Jonathan Dos Santos: 9/10
Alexandre Song: 4/10
Since returning from a horrific leg-break David Villa's transition back into the side has been anything but smooth.
In January, the Asturian was clearly disgruntled with his squad role and reportedly told the club he was ready to leave.
Arsenal were, yet again, interested in the forward's services, as they seem to be in every other potential Camp Nou reject.
A New Contract?
However, Villa's recent performances have reminded the coaching staff of the qualities he provides. His goals and assists in recent weeks have proven pivotal.
Moreover, "El Guaje" has the unerring support of the Camp Nou, who have made it clear they stand firmly against a Villa exit.
In an exciting turn of events, Barca have reportedly now offered the 31-year-old a new contract.
Numbers talk, and if Villa keeps scoring, it will be hard for Tito Vilanova to let him go.
Chance of Leaving
David Villa: 5/10
Sometimes trying your best is just not good enough, and unfortunately that is exactly the case for Alexis Sanchez.
The Chilean came to Barca riding a wave of expectations, and in his first game he showed plenty of what was promised.
His first season, however, he personally rated as only a "five out of 10", and his second has only been worse.
Alexis looks spent of all confidence and simply looks like a square peg in a round hole.
Leaving Barca could actually be something of a liberation for him.
It appears, however, that Inter Milan have the inside running, with the Italian press reporting that negotiations for a Sanchez move are already underway. The move is unsurprising considering Inter's attacking woes.
With Barca in the market for a new forward, Alexis is the most likely to leave in the summer.
Chance of Leaving
Alexis Sanchez: 7/10
Who will leave Barcelona this summer? Who should the Catalans hold on to?
Leave your comments below.
Kieran Sobels Follow @palabrasBarca