Ronald Koeman has decided that Luis Suarez, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba are not part of his first-team plans and will inform the trio they can leave Barcelona, according to reports in Spain.
The 57-year-old left his job as Netherlands boss earlier this week to sign a two-year deal at Camp Nou, replacing the axed Quique Setien just days after Barca’s humiliating defeat to Bayern Munich.
As well as losing 8-2 in the quarter-final of the Champions League, the Catalan side also lost their La Liga crown to fierce rivals Real Madrid in what was a miserable end to the campaign.
Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu is looking to overhaul the team and named just seven ‘untouchable’ players in the first team who will remain part of the squad.
They are Lionel Messi, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Frenkie de Jong, Clement Lenglet and Nelson Semedo, while big-money flops Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele will also be given another chance to turn their Camp Nou careers around.
But, according to AS, Koeman has added one more player to the list of stars he wants to keep, with the Dutchman still a big fan of Gerard Pique and viewing him as a central part of the defensive unit.
Other Barca stalwarts are less fortunate, though, with Koeman deciding he wants to offload Suarez, Busquets and Alba – who are all over the age of 30.
The trio’s performances have dipped this past season and Koeman wants fresh blood in the side, with AS claiming he will inform them they have no future at Barca under him in a series of meetings in the coming days.
While Barca would ideally like to cash in on the trio – or, at the very least, get their big salaries off the wage bill – all three want to stay at the club and are not keen to leave, with Alba still having a contract until 2024.
That could create some issues for Koeman’s hopes of building a younger, more dynamic Barca team, with the former Everton boss already earmarking compatriot Memphis Depay as a replacement for Suarez.
The Uruguayan striker, meanwhile, has been linked with a return to old club Ajax, though his preference is to remain at Camp Nou.
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