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Barcelona transfers: Rafinha, Sergi Samper, Sergi Roberto in; Pedro, Adriano, Alen Halilovic out


There is no precedent on how the future will eventually turn out; often people’s lives change by a sudden strike of fortune or pummel down to a pile of mediocrity. Switch over to the few who place themselves in situations to succeed and prosper, in sports, most notably soccer, these swift life transitions are noticed all too often in terms of players on the brink of falling off the face of the club and the ones who have scribed their legacy into the heartbeat of the crest.

The preseason, classified as a time to note and take mental pictures of the talent being displayed on the pitch. Where team bonding is generally being bred into an inseparable chemistry between the first XI and the interchangeable seven left on the bench.

Barcelona began this preseason fluttering over the Atlantic Ocean in a near 6,000-mile trip to begin the International Champions Cup in Los Angeles. Task at hand: Expand the already popular brand of Barcelona while summoning their youth to show their true potential and worth against a few of Europe’s finest clubs. 


The Blaugrana began the 2015/16 campaign with a 2-1 triumph against local MLS side LA Galaxy, which saw Barcelona control the tempo with 77 percent possession and an astonishing 90 percent passing accuracy in the first half.

Barcelona would go on to lose the final two matches in the ICC tour but don’t fret, Cules: The only matches to emotionally strain yourself are the ones that actually matter. 

As most coaches would acknowledge, results aren't a huge concern nor are they the deciding factor if the club had a successful preseason. Luis Enrique was pleased with his side's effort throughout their time in the United States: “We have been able to get playing time against top quality opposition, we have had the chance to feel the support of lots of fans, who have been the majority in the grounds and we have been able to promote the Club. We go back home happy.”

Despite Lucho's pleasure with the brief preseason tour, the fate of many players on the roster may have already been decided on the flight back to Barcelona. We take a look at a few of the players who may (or may not) display their talents in Catalonia this fall. 


Pedro


The most talked-about player for Barcelona this offseason, the 28-year-old winger has had plenty of sleepless nights pondering his future with the club. According to multiple reports Manchester United is the biggest fish trying to snatch Pedro from Catalonia. Luis Enrique has been adamant that he wants to keep Pedro but understands the players want to play more. 

Pedro has already won two trebles with the club and now has a clear objective: To continually be in top form for a potential spot in Spain’s squad for Euro 2016 in France. In order for Vicente Del Bosque to even consider him, he understands he needs to play.

Sergi Roberto


A fringe midfield player who has had to sit behind the likes of Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez, Sergio Busquets, now the ever-improving Ivan Rakitic and possibly Arda Turan. Sergi has been at the wrong end of the stick since his call up from Barcelona B in 2010; unable to consistently crack the starting 11 he has had to settle for a mere 29 appearances in 5 seasons. 

Due to the cramped midfield, Sergi was slotted occasionally in the right back position where he excelled. Luis Enrique praised the 23 year old for his play on the right flank, “Physically he is very strong, he is fit as you like, gets up and down and has quality. It’s another option. You have to remember that a full back at Barça is almost like a midfielder.” 

With Aleix Vidal unable to play until January and Douglas being portrayed more as a joke than a formidable candidate for the full back position, don't be surprised if you see Sergi log his minutes backing up a now aging 32-year-old Dani Alves.

Rafinha


A break-out player for the first team this past season, his big play ability was at full display this preseason with a cracking goal against Manchester United. He featured much more than people expected last season, possibly due to the relationship garnered with Luis Enrique in Celta de Vigo. He is a prime candidate to be the club's 4th forward if Barcelona winger Pedro parts from the club.


Samper


A Barcelona wonderkid who many have proclaimed to be the next great thing from La Masia youth system is another midfielder who is at the mercy of an already stacked midfield. 

There is a real risk of Barcelona losing the young Catalan to Arsenal. Those who have been following Barcelona for years know that Arsenal signed two Barcelona youngsters, Hector Bellerin and Jon Toral, in the summer of 2011 so a sudden charge for Sergi is not out of the realm of possibility. 

If Barcelona does enough to push aside the London giant, Samper would then look to go out on loan if not promoted to first team. Given his potential, keeping the teenager's services may very well be the top priority for the Blaugrana.

Adriano


The speedy Brazilian left full-back may be about to leave Barcelona as Roma are on the prowl for the 30 year old. There is definitely room to replace Adriano as Thomas Vermalean and even Jeremy Mathieu can fill the void of backing up Jordi Alba. 

Adriano’s loss will be felt as his trustworthiness in that left back spot has rarely faltered. If Roma raises their initial €4M offer expect Adriano to leave the team he has seen the most success with. 


Sandro Ramirez and Munir El Haddadi


Luis Enrique has reportedly told Sandro and Munir that one of them will most likely have to be sent on loan, given the array of forwards at the club. Sporting de Gijon is one of the teams interested in Sandro’s services.

Alen Halilovic


This central attacking midfielder will dazzle you with his nimble feet and dribbling ability. You really can't help but marvel watching this young Croat. Reports have been circulating the Twitter-sphere that Alen may be on his way out of Barcelona on a loan to either Everton or West Ham. Switching between the B team and first team would be the better option, in my opinion.


Adama Traore


A new report has come out that the Barca B winger talks with Liverpool are well underway to loan out the striker to Anfield. Adama has also been linked to a move to Bayern Munich where Pep Guardiola is very high on acquiring the Barca youngster.

Published by Alexander Del Valle, columnist at Barcablog. Follow him on Twitter @AlexanderDelV

Now, it's your turn


Which one of the players mentioned above can Barcelona not do without? Who wouldn't you mind selling? I'd love to hear your views. Share your comments with our community in the box below.

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