The extent of Barcelona’s financial problems is becoming more apparent by the day, as Pep Guardiola has admitted that players have left against his wishes.
The Champions League-winning coach has said that he wanted Yaya Toure to stay, and he referred to the midfielder’s move to Manchester City as a “big blow” for the Catalan club.
Barcelona are 4/5 favourites to win La Liga this season, though the loss of players such as Toure could harm the squad’s strength in depth.
“I did everything possible to get him to stay and he’s a popular player in the dressing room,” Guardiola said of Toure. “But he wanted to leave and there’s not much I could do.”
Toure left for Eastlands to secure regular first-team football, which became increasingly scarce for him at Barcelona, despite playing an integral role in their title-winning side.
Another big name player who struggled to force himself into first-team recognition was Ukrainian centre-back Dmytro Chygrynskiy.
Chygrynskiy joined Barca in a €25m deal from Shakhtar Donetsk last year, but he rejoined Shakhtar for €15m earlier this summer, and Guardiola was again sad to see the player go.
“My opinion counts, but the needs of the club go above that and that’s why he was sold,” said Guardiola. “I would like to have kept him.”
Chygrynskiy was a very useful squad player, and his departure could hit Barca’s European hopes. They are 3/1 to win the Champions League.
Of Rafael Marquez and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Guardiola said that the players would decide their own futures, hinting that both could be heading for the exit at the Camp Nou.
Who could pip Barcelona to European glory? Arsenal are 16/1 to win the Champions League. See the full UEFA Champions League market.