With a convincing 0-3 victory in Granada in the decisive fine game of the season, Barcelona retained their La Liga crown having won their last five matches with an aggregate scoreline of 24-0. Having put their mid-season slump behind them, the Catalans must be confident going into Copa del Rey final against Sevilla.
Although the players' attention should understandably remain focused on winning the cup final against Los Andaluces, the fans simply can't ignore the talks of a massive overhaul that is supposedly going to shake up the Catalans' squad this summer. Internal competition fosters success and results in better performances, as is obvious in the cases of goalkeepers Claudio Bravo and Marc André ter Stegen. Key players like Luis Suárez, Neymar or Jordi Alba have had no real competitors and, as a result, the team suffers significantly when they either suffer injury or simply dip in performance.
With that in mind, it is only natural the board is looking at attracting new blood towards the Camp Nou this summer. Let us have a glance at few of the names doing the transfer rumors:
Currently the world's best left-back, and by some margin. Pep Guardiola has transformed a good player into Bayern Munich's most influential player at both ends of the pitch.
Hugely versatile with lots of pace and stamina, Alaba can operate in the left-back or the central midfield with equal ease. As if that weren't enough, he is also capable of taking corners and free kicks. The list of skills goes on and on, but you get the idea: A gem of a player. Barca should grab the opportunity to sign the 23-year old Austrian if given the chance.
A player of Alaba's quality comes with a cost, however. Bayern aren't likely to want to part ways with their youth product so easily. A deal would be possible only if the player forces his club to and, to be fully honest, that seems a bit far stretched at the moment.
In addition, it is believed the player wants to play in midfield instead of the usual left back role he is accustomed to. Barça must utilise this unique opportunity if they harbour any desire of signing Alaba.
On loan to Villarreal for the year, Denis Suárez performed exceptionally well, guiding the Yellow Submarine to the semifinals of the Europa League and also confirming a play-off berth in next season's Champions League.
Activating Denis' buyout clause will cost just €2.5 million, which would be a steal. The former Barça B youngster would also relish the chance to star alongside some of the greatest footballers of his generation, providing him extra motivation to succeed.
An attacking midfielder by trade, Denis Suárez is equally adept at playing on the wings and is likely to provide depth to both department for the Blaugrana. Although he is still very young, having already played a decisive role in European competitions with a fair degree of success speaks wonders of his potential.
Fortunately, Denis Suárez's return to Barcelona looks like a done deal and we can only wait for the official announcement - most likely following the Copa Del Rey finals.
Another teenage prodigy who has backed up the hype with performances from time to time. However, the presence of fellow countrymen Thiago Silva and David Luis has hampered his playing time for French Champions PSG. Silva is arguably the most complete defender in the world right now and his partnership with Luis has resulted in a steady backline, thereby forcing the young Marquinhos to either play out of position as a fullback or watch from the sidelines.
A former Barça target, Marquinhos is once again said to be interested in joining the Catalans. Young and confident with the ball at his feet, the Brazilian could be a perfect complimentary to Gerard Piqué given his ability in the air and countless interceptions to thwart rival attacks.
Considered to be among the finest young defenders in the world, Marquinhos would be quite an asset to any team given his ability to operate on a number of positions.
However, the owners of PSG see him as 32-year old Silva's heir and will likely fight hard to keep him in the French capital. With a price like to be in the region of €45 million and Barça's financial condition reportedly being unstable, it is doubtful that Marquinhos will join the Blaugrana any time soon.
Hatem Ben Arfa
Playing his trade from Ligue 1 side Nice, Ben Arfa is one of the more probable candidates set to be acquired for the coming season.
The soon-to-be free agent had a great season in Nice and, understandably, has caught the attention of a number of major clubs, including Barça. With 17 goals in Ligue 1, Ben Arfa is the 4th highest scorer in the competition and his career seems to have been rejuvenated after years of performing below expectations. The Blaugrana have already made contact with the player, according to a number of sources.
There are lots of disadvantages to signing the player, however. He always had the talent but his indiscipline and rashness has often cost his teams a great deal. Also, after below par performances in the Premier League, a great season in France isn't a guaranteed recipe for success in La Liga.
The Catalan board must seriously consider whether signing a player that would probably sit on the bench for the entirety of the season is actually worth the effort.