It looks set to be a very busy summer at Barcelona with numerous comings and goings predicted, not only among the playing staff but within the management as well.
While rumours continue to abound surrounding the future of a number of Barcelona stars, one that certainly looks set to leave this summer is Javier Mascherano. The 29-year-old has not exactly been sidelined at the Nou Camp, having made 27 La Liga appearances this season, but he appears to be looking to play a more prominent role elsewhere.
It's great what we've got coming up this week and over the weekend.
For some of us, it may be our last game at the club, so it will be a very nice way to say goodbye.
A clearer indication of a player’s future plans could hardly be given, therefore it would be a surprise if he were to remain in Barcelona. The midfielder-come-defender is thought to be wanted by both Serie A side Napoli and former club Liverpool.
Spanish newspaper Sport even reported that Napoli have had a bid accepted for Mascherano, but the player has rejected the move (h/t Paul Watson of HITC): “Napoli were successful in agreeing a deal with Barcelona where he has a contract until 2016, Mascherano turned down the chance to move to Naples.”
Another former Premier League player who is likely to leave is Alex Song. Like Mascherano, the Cameroon international has made noises about exiting the Nou Camp, per Darren Lewis and Alan Nixon of the Daily Mirror: “If I leave Barcelona it will be to return to the Premier League. I will return to England one day, that’s for sure.”
Also talking about his future away from Barca is Neymar. The 22-year-old only joined the Catalans last summer but is already planning his career elsewhere. This particular change is not necessarily imminent, but it might prove worrisome to those at the Nou Camp that so many players are dreaming of pastures new.
Neymar told reporters, per Dejan Kalinic of Goal.com:
The only thing that is certain is that I will end my career at Santos.
It is something to think about whether I would be willing to play for another team in Brazil before that.
It wouldn't be a problem to sit down and hear an offer. The club can be from Sao Paulo, from Rio de Janeiro or from any other state of Brazil.
It is not all one-way traffic out of the Nou Camp, however, as David Luiz has reportedly agreed a deal to join Barcelona from Chelsea for a fee of £30 million.
Luiz will most likely be the first of a number of signings this summer by the Catalans. With veterans of the club Carles Puyol and Victor Valdes already confirming their exits, it will be a changing of the guard to some extent this summer.
With Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid now challenging them at the top of La Liga, Barca must be sure to choose wisely in their summer rebuild and not fall behind their rivals.