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Barcelona 'trying to offload unwanted duo to Saudi Arabia'

Barcelona 'trying to offload unwanted duo to Saudi Arabia'
© Reuters
Barcelona reportedly want to offload out-of-favour duo and Premier League loanees Ansu Fati and Clement Lenglet to the Saudi Pro League this summer.

Barcelona are reportedly hoping to shift two of their unwanted stars to the Saudi Pro League during the summer transfer window.

After an exceptional campaign in the 2022-23 season, which culminated in glory in La Liga, Xavi's side are about to cede their domestic title to Real Madrid with a whimper.

The Catalan giants are 11 points below their Blancos counterparts in the table, and the crown will officially be ripped from their grasp this weekend if Barca fail to beat Girona and Real Madrid sink Cadiz.

In addition, Barcelona were the victims of a storming Paris Saint-Germain fightback in the Champions League quarter-finals, lost to Athletic Bilbao at the same stage in the Copa del Rey and were beaten by Real Madrid in the final of the Supercopa de Espana.

In the wake of a disappointing season which is destined to end without a trophy, Barcelona could conduct a major firesale of their senior players, and only a handful of names are thought to be safe from the chop.

Brighton & Hove Albion's Ansu Fati and Tariq Lamptey during training on September 20, 2023© Reuters

Clement Lenglet, Ansu Fati lined up for Saudi moves

Lamine Yamal, Pau Cubarsi, Pedri, Gavi and Mikayil Faye are thought to be the sole players Barcelona will try to hang onto at all costs, and offers should be entertained for almost all other squad members.

According to Sport, two unwanted troops - Ansu Fati and Clement Lenglet - are both no longer in Barcelona's plans, and the club are trying to push the pair to accept lucrative Saudi Arabian offers.

Both Fati and Lenglet are currently on loan in the Premier League with Brighton & Hove Albion and Aston Villa respectively, but neither man has set the world alight during their time in English football.

Fati - regarded as the heir to Lionel Messi before injuries cruelly inhibited his development - has scored just four goals and provided one assist in 25 games for Brighton, who will not be signing him permanently this summer.

Meanwhile, Lenglet is in his second spell in English football, having represented Tottenham Hotspur during the 2022-23 campaign, and he has enjoyed moderate success in an Aston Villa jersey.

Aston Villa's Clement Lenglet reacts in November 2023© Reuters

Lenglet 'has already rejected Saudi offer'

The Frenchman has played 23 times for Unai Emery's side, including six starts en route to the semi-finals of the Europa Conference League and 13 appearances from the first whistle in the Premier League, as Villa chase Champions League qualification.

As is the case with Fati, though, Lenglet should not be retained by Aston Villa when the season comes to a close, and his Barcelona career also appears to be dead in the water.

The 28-year-old supposedly turned down the chance to leave Barcelona for Al-Nassr last summer, but he could now have a change of heart given that he has not played for La Blaugrana since 2022.

The Spanish champions sold one of their out-of-favour troops to the Saudi Pro League last summer, offloading Ivory Coast midfielder Franck Kessie Al-Ahli for €12.5m (£10.7m).

Attacking duo Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha have also been tipped to move to the Middle East, but the former has confirmed that he plans to stay on at Camp Nou for 2024-25.

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