Barcelona face a summer of reconstruction after their grip on the La Liga title was ended by newly-crowned champions Real Madrid.
Undoubtedly Barca’s number one priority is to ensure that Lionel Messi’s future remains at the Camp Nou.
Barca’s failure to win La Liga or the Champions League this season has been no fault of Messi.
The five-time World Player of the Year has been at his brilliant best in carrying his side for large parts of the campaign – most notably in scoring twice to win a thrilling El Clasico 3-2 away to Madrid last month.
Messi’s contract is up in June 2018 meaning he could freely speak to other clubs as early as January about moving on a free transfer.
Thankfully for Barca that doesn’t seem likely with Messi very much settled at the club where he has spent his whole career.
However, by allowing his contract to run down, it will cost the Barca board a fortune to tie Messi down which could impact on their ability to make moves in the transfer market.
Appoint a new coach
Luis Enrique took the heat out of the debate surrounding his future back in March by announcing he will not stay on as coach for next season after three years in charge.
Plenty of high-profile names were then linked with the job, but all signs indicate the Barca hierarchy will opt for the understated option of Athletic Bilbao’s Ernesto Valverde as the man to step into the breach.
Valverde doesn’t have the glamour the likes of Enrique or Pep Guardiola had when taking the job, but like them he is a former Barca player and has a wealth of experience in La Liga as a coach with over 400 games in charge of Bilbao, Espanyol, Valencia and Villarreal.
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