The tense wait for Pjanic, Umtiti and Coutinho

The three Blaugrana players know that Koeman does not have them and they live their return to work aware that they are on the starting ramp.


Returning to training sessions in the preseason is usually synonymous with enthusiasm for players who want to gain prominence for the new season. At Barcelona, who returned to work on Monday with the players who have not had commitments with their national teams, it is nevertheless a time of doubt. A waiting room for many players who know perfectly well that this year they will not count for Ronald Koeman. More than a period of preparation, it is a tense wait awaiting news from your agents. Nobody like Pjanic, Umtiti and Coutinho exemplify this situation.

These three footballers know that their coach does not have them and that their contracts cannot be assumed by a board of directors that needs to reduce the salary mass. On this front, the coach and management go to one and that is how it was staged in Laporta's visit to the Barcelona dressing room on the first day of training.

The president made it very clear to the players that "here the boss is Koeman" in a clear gesture of reinforcing the image and position of the Dutch coach, who was questioned at the end of last year. Forgotten that chapter, Koeman has all the support of the board to make decisions and among them is that of not having these players.Pjanic

Pjanic came to consider just a month ago that if Koeman did not continue his stay at the Blaugrana club he could have a restart after an absolutely inconsequential first season, but with the current panorama he has already abandoned any hope of being important in the team.

Signed only one season ago in an exchange operation with Arthur in Juventus in which it was valued at 70 million euros, the 31-year-old Bosnian has a contract until June 30, 2024. Currently, according to the specialized website Transfermarkt, his value The market share has plummeted to 20 million, devaluing by 50 million in just 12 months.

The option of returning to Juventus, a team that has rehired Allegri, the coach who has obtained the best performance, is seen as the only possible way out provided that last summer's trade with another player from the Italian team is undone . A complicated operation.


The Umtiti case still seems more difficult. The French central defender has once again experienced a course marked by injuries, which complicates his exit to the market, aggravating the fact that his salary in the Catalan entity is out of the reach of any team that wants to bet on him.

The 27-year-old Frenchman has three more years on his contract. He arrived five years ago from Olympique de Lyon for 25 million and the Blaugrana club renewed him two seasons ago despite the fact that the club's own medical reports advised against this operation. Now, with an off-market salary and an estimated value of 8 million, he lives under the threat of unilateral contract termination.


With Coutinho, 29, he hopes that some team can accept him on loan. Olympique de Marseille has been interested in the Brazilian who continues to carry the poster of being the most expensive signing in the club's history.

At the moment, he works out in the gym trying to solve the knee problems that have him in the dry dock since last November. Together with Umtiti and Pjanic, he forms the trio of players who are aware that this preseason that began on Monday is a countdown.

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