Barca make all but three stars available as Prem clubs circle

Matt Stead

Barcelona will consider trading all but three stars as Manchester United and other European clubs contemplate a summer transfer window centred on player exchanges.

The suspension of all major European leagues amid the global pandemic will have a far-reaching financial impact for every side.

Real Madrid have withdrawn their interest in Harry Kane as a result, outlining just how little money is expected to be spent by clubs hoping to improve their squads.

Instead, player exchanges are likely to become prevalent, with Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu openly discussing that prospect last month.

“There is not going to be as much money in the transfer market because of the pandemic,” he said. “But I predict that we are going to see a lot more swap deals.”

ESPN FC suggest they have already started to formulate such plans, with only Lionel Messi, Marc-Andre Ter Stegen and Frenkie de Jong guaranteed to be at the Nou Camp come next season.

Barca want ‘another attacker’ and are contemplating some form of swap with Inter Milan or PSG for Lautaro Martinez or Neymar respectively.

Antoine Griezmann is the player most often linked with either exchange, but with Barca also targeting a right-back, centre-half and ‘physical midfielder’, there is an acceptance that ‘a number of players will either have to be sold or included as makeweights in potential deals’.

Only Messi, Ter Stegen and De Jong would be considered ‘untouchable’ in that instance.

That would make Arturo Vidal, linked with both Newcastle and Manchester United, available, as well as fellow Premier League targets Samuel Umtiti, Ivan Rakitic and Ousmane Dembele.

Philippe Coutinho might finally get his move, too.