With the winter transfer window open already, the market has already seen a flurry of activities from clubs trying to reinforce their squad with new signings or offload non-performing players.
Barcelona have already brought on loan Robert Goncalves from Fluminense, although he is to bolster the Barca B squad. Further signings are likely to take place with Celta forward Nolito being among the prime targets.
Barcelona sporting director Robert Fernandez spoke to the media after the team's 4-0 win over Real Betis on 30th of December. He tried to address the recent rumours concerning Marc Bartra, Sandro Ramirez and Denis Suarez.
Let's discuss the extent to which these rumours may hold ground.
The Catalan has been present in the professional team for around 3 seasons now but has been unable to break into the first XI due to the presence of Gerard Pique and Javier Mascherano. He also has to fight it out with Jeremy Mathieu and Thomas Vermaelen for being the third choice centre-back.
Bartra does put his 100% onto the pitch whenever provided a chance but defensive errors and the occasional poor positioning isn't helping his case either. Although last season against PSG he was like a wall defending the Barca backline, the present season hasn't fanned up too well.
With talks of bringing in a new young CB of the likes of John Stones or Aymeric Laporte next season, Bartra's chances of making a permanent name for himself seems to grow thinner than ever. Clubs like Sevilla are ready to pounce on any opportunity that may come due to the difficult circumstances. However, it seems Barca are ready to hold on to him for the time being.
According to Robert, Bartra hasn't yet asked for a loan or transfer and stressed that he won't leave. Although the situation is fragile I would opine that he may yet stay put for at least this season and weigh his options in the summer.
Denis Suarez is another hot prospect for the winter. Initially brought from Manchester City, he played for the B team before his loan move to Sevilla, then a permanent move to Villarreal this season. He has caught the attention of Luis Enrique and the management so there have been talks in recent times to exercise the club's buy-back clause to provide more depth and creativity to the Barca squad.
The 21 year old has made telling contributions to Villarreal this season. With three goals and five assists in 13 La Liga appearances, he has made use of the chances given to him. However, he has still time before he can make a claim for a first team spot. Luis Enrique is believed to have been satisfied with the youngster's development and see him continue till the end of the season. Even Villarreal president Fernando Roig has insisted that Suarez won't be let off this winter transfer window.
Although Denis is quite talented, just bringing him back and relegating him to the bench for the season wouldn't do much good. At his present club, he is being given his chances and is developing into a much matured player. With regular playing time under his belt, he can take more rapid strides in his career and one day make the Blaugrana first team.
In case of Sandro Ramirez, the situation is much clearer. Sandro, like his former Barca B teammate Munir El Haddadi, has been very poor this season. Although El Canario scored a hattrick against a third division side in the Copa Del Rey, he hasn't scored a goal before or since then.
With the MSN frontline playing week in week out, Barcelona are in desperate need of a forward who can provide cover in case of injury or be used as an impact substitute. In that respect, Nolito seems to be favoured by the coach and, if that happens, Sandro's playing time will get reduced even further.
Tottenham are on the lookout for an alternative to their striker Harry Kane. With Saido Berahino's transfer to the Spurs in January looking seemingly difficult, they have turned their attention to the young Barca striker. Sandro fits their requirement of a mobile player capable of playing in the wings or the centre.
This deal looks much more likely to happen. Barcelona have offered the player for €3 million but Spurs are reported to be undecided on the issue of Barca inserting a buy-back clause in the deal. If that issue is resolved, the deal is expected to go through.
Sandro has what it takes to be a top player. Under Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham have played good football and are now 4th in the Premier League standings.