Barcelona face decision on two stars affected by incoming Alvaro Morata arrival

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Barcelona could be about to move on two first-team players as they close in on a move for Spanish striker Alvaro Morata. New boss Xavi has already signed Manchester City star Ferran Torres and thinks compatriot Morata can lead the line at the Nou Camp.

The cash-strapped Catalan giants are currently fifth in La Liga and are looking to balance the books in the January transfer window as they target a finish in the Champions League places. 

Xavi is expected to oversee plenty of outgoings in the coming months as he plans his rebuild at the club. 

And according to the latest reports in Spain, striker Memphis Depay is seen as dispensable by Xavi and will be sold this summer to make way for Morata. 

Depay has made a solid goalscoring start to the season with eight goals in 15 starts in the league.

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But AS report that the Dutch forward is not in Xavi’s long-term plans and is set to be allowed to leave after just two years at the Nou Camp.

Depay has not convinced Xavi and is likely to be sold before his contract expires in 2023 with Barca desperate for funds. 

Fellow Dutchman Luuk de Jong has been maligned by supporters during his loan spell from Sevilla but scored an important goal as Xavi’s men secured a narrow 1-0 victory away at Mallorca.

The 31-year-old’s goal lifted Barca to one point behind the top four, despite Xavi having to contend with a series of covid cases, suspensions and injuries.

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But the AS report adds that with just two goals, De Jong is still expected to return to Sevilla this month after arriving in the summer.

The duo’s impending exit will make way for the arrival of Morata, who Xavi is said to still consider one of the best forwards in the world.

Morata is currently on loan at Juventus, who would be willing to end his temporary spell in Turin should they find a replacement. 

It is also claimed Barca have come to an agreement with Morata’s parent club Atletico Madrid over a January move that will include a future permanent sale option.

Barca’s negotiating with Atletico has been enhanced by the summer season-long loan deal for Antoine Griezmann.

A deal is in place for a permanent €40m transfer for the Frenchman to return to Madrid at the end of the season.

And it is claimed Xavi is already preparing to welcome Morata at the Nou Camp as early as this week. 

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It is added that the transfer is ‘95%’ completed and Morata could be available to play as early as the Spanish Super Cup match against Real Madrid on January 12.

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