Arda Turan, Rafinha lead list of players likely to leave Barcelona this summer

Naturally, all the focus is on whom Barcelona will sign this summer, but before they can strengthen their squad, they will need to rid themselves of some players first. Not just to make room for any potential incoming players, mind you, but to make some money, add to what is set to be a reduced transfer budget and to free up space on the wage bill: A recent report revealed they have the highest wage bill in European football.

Last summer's signings Andre Gomes, Paco Alcacer, Denis Suarez and Lucas Digne haven't yet lived up to their billing, but unless an offer too good to turn down arrives, all four are expected to be given a second season to settle into their surroundings at Camp Nou.

However, for another five players, it looks like the end might be nigh.

Jeremy Mathieu

The French defender took the blame for Barcelona's first half performance against Juventus in Turin, was hauled off at half-time and has not been seen since. Now 33, there's little to no chance he will continue at Barcelona next season, and the club is prepared to let him go for free. Olympiacos are currently the front-runners to sign him.

Overall, Mathieu's three-year Barca career has had a bit of everything. At times he's verged on being a cult hero -- his goals against Real Madrid and Celta Vigo were vital in the title race during his first season -- but on other occasions he's been singled out when Barca have played badly and held up as an example of someone doing a job that, in the past, an academy graduate could have done.

Off the pitch, he's represented good value, too... in a way. A footballer who has a penchant for smoking always makes the news, and a photograph of the French defender circulated when he first joined from Valencia, which he himself has joked about since. He's been clumsy when giving interviews in his homeland, too, giving secrets away such as the one about Lionel Messi and Luis Enrique arguing in training.

Overall, he has barely stayed above water, but now everyone is in agreement that his time is up. He hasn't played since that loss to Juve on Apr. 11, and he will not wear the Blaugrana shirt again.

Arda Turan

Ahmet Bulut has tried to make it clear that his client is not going anywhere. In fact, this week Turan's agent even claimed he would fulfil his contract at Camp Nou (it runs until 2020) amid reports Arsenal were close to signing the former Turkey international, who retired from international football on Wednesday.

Tellingly, though, Barca have not been rushing to make the same point because Turan's Barca career got off to a slow start and has never really picked up pace. Forced to watch from the sidelines for six months due to the club's transfer ban, his first season was effectively a washout. There have been improvements and the odd impressive performance this season, but not enough to stop the club considering a sale.

At 30, Turan has been unable to prove himself in midfield, and while he's done well as an occasional deputy for Neymar, he's not as good as any of the front three. It's for those reasons that Barca see him as the primary candidate to bring in some money -- they're hoping for around €30 million -- they can re-invest in other areas of the squad.


Barcelona are not desperate to sell him, but they are willing to let him go for two reasons. The first reason is that the Brazil international wants regular football ahead of next summer's World Cup, something that new coach Ernesto Valverde can't promise. The second reason is that like Turan, they could do with the money he could generate to spend on a right-back or a deeper-lying midfielder.

Rafinha, 24, may benefit from a fresh start, too -- something his brother Thiago got by moving to Bayern Munich in 2013. Injuries have constantly disrupted his time with Barcelona's first team, and even under Luis Enrique, a coach with whom he has a special relationship, he has struggled to hold down a regular starting spot.

The problem, though, is finding a buyer. Juventus have been linked, but they're unlikely to pay the €30m Barca reportedly want. On Thursday, his father and agent, former Brazil international Mazinho, was seen holding talks with Valencia, but they won't be able to get anywhere near the asking price.

Munir El Haddadi

When Munir starred in Barça's UEFA Youth League win in 2014 and then scored on his first team debut against Elche, the sky looked the limit, and a first cap for Spain soon followed to keep him out of Morocco's reach. However, three years later, he has fallen down the pecking order, and the club will let him leave this summer whether on loan (again) or a permanent deal.

It can't be said Luis Enrique didn't give him enough chances. The 21-year-old made 45 appearances under the former Barca coach and scored 10 goals, although he may argue he was never given a sufficient run of games.

Valencia had him on loan this season and also have an option to sign him this summer for €12m. However, they've confirmed they won't be picking up that option, leaving the door open for other clubs to swoop in. Ajax are the latest to be linked with a move, but there's also interest from England in the form of Everton and Southampton.

Cristian Tello

Yes, he is still a Barcelona player. Tello looked explosive when he and Isaac Cuenca burst onto the scene in the latter Pep Guardiola years, but like Munir, his career with the Catalan club has since petered out. Loan spells at Porto and Fiorentina have not convinced Barca he has a future with the first team -- in fact, those spells didn't even convince Porto and Fiorentina to keep him on -- and now he's going to have to find another new club.

At 25, a permanent move will suit him. He needs stability and certainty that he's going to be at the same club for the foreseeable future. Like Mathieu, Olympiacos have been mentioned but he may be better off finding a home for himself back in Spain after his toils abroad.