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Ernesto Valverde Hints at Barcelona Sales After Summer Transfer Spree

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistAugust 5, 2019

FC Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde during the Trofeu Joan Gamper match between FC Barcelona and Arsenal FC at the Camp Nou stadium on August 04, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)
VI-Images/Getty Images

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has hinted the club will sell more players this summer following a busy transfer window of recruitment.

Antoine Griezmann (€120 million) and Frenkie de Jong (€75 million) have been the biggest new arrivals at the Camp Nou, and Valverde suggested to reporters his midfield looks particularly full at present. 

"There are quite a few players in midfield," the 55-year-old said. "We'll see if something happens. I don't know if any sales or signings will be completed. This year there is more competition."

The coach was talking to the press after his side came back from a goal down to defeat Arsenal 2-1 in the Joan Gamper Trophy on Sunday.

Brazil winger Malcom is one of the recent departures from the club. The 22-year-old joined Russian club Zenit St. Petersburg for €45 million, plus €5 million in add-ons on August 2:

B/R Football @brfootball

OFFICIAL: Malcom signs for Russian champions Zenit after one season with Barcelona https://t.co/kSAJtWhQFJ

Left-back Junior Firpo arrived at the Camp Nou on August 4 following his €18 million transfer (plus €12 million in add-ons). 

In addition to Neto's €26 million move from Valencia (plus €9 in add-ons) and the €12 million joint-purchase of Atletico Mineiro's Emerson with Real Betis, Barca have spent upwards of €250 million (£229.7 million) this summer.

De Jong made his first Barcelona start against the Gunners and gave an encouraging performance. Academy product Carles Alena, 21, is highly regarded among fans, while 19-year-old Riqui Puig showed great promise for the senior side in pre-season.

The bar at the Camp Nou has been raised once again, but broadcaster Deji Faremi listed one name in particular he hoped the Blaugrana won't cash in on:

Deji Faremi @deejayfaremi

Whatever Barcelona do, they better not sell Dembele in their desperation to get Neymar.

Barca have already sold Andre Gomes and Denis Suarez to Everton and Celta Vigo, respectively, while Kevin-Prince Boateng's loan contract in Catalonia saw him return to Italy this summer.

Arturo Vidal, 32, and Ivan Rakitic, 31, look like plausible candidates to leave if Valverde's priority is to rejuvenate his lineup with a more youthful look.

Another player who could leave is Philippe Coutinho, the former Liverpool ace who hasn't hit the heights expected of him in the past 18 months, via Eleven Sports:

Eleven Sports @ElevenSports_UK

| 😬 | "Pep Segura (Barca GM) told me they don't want to sell Coutinho. However, Barcelona's adviser in Brazil... has been pushing for Coutinho to be included in a deal to bring Neymar back from PSG." - Joorabchian (RMC) #FCB's most expensive signing || https://t.co/B9IVwSYVLg https://t.co/vBScteLAYW

A total of 12 players have left Barcelona this summer—including two loanees returning to their clubs—while only four have been added to the first-team squad.

Valverde has a little less than one month until La Liga's transfer window closes on September 2.