A short little video recorded Tito Vilanova’s return to Barcelona early yesterday morning, accompanied by Jordi Roura, Aureli Altimira and their wives who had flown to NYC as a thank-you for all their efforts and to escort El Mister back home.
The club reports that Tito will be “gradually easing” his way back into his duties over the next few weeks, while Roura and Altimira continue bearing the brunt of the daily load. At least it will be easier now that they are all in the same timezone.
Up for discussion in the next couple of months will be the formation of the First Team squad for next season and, man, Tito & Co have their work cut out for them. There will have to be a lot of movement out of the club at the end of this season, that’s for sure.
Here’s the current situation.
The Current First Team
In the First Team are the following players:
Valdés – has not renewed but Rosell is optimistic that VV will stay once our GK has spoken to Tito. (N.B. the last time that Rosell was optimistic, about someone staying, was with Pep. Yep – that worked out well.)
Pinto – renewed for another season until the end of 2014.
That’s 23 players.
The following players are on-loan, and due to come back at the end of this season:
Fontàs – bench-warming at Mallorca more than he is playing
Cuenca – at Ajax with injury problems still occurring
Afellay – at Schalke in a similar situation to Cuenca
Bojan – at AC Milan with sporadic duties on the pitch
In B Team but Already Promoted
Muniesa – recovered from injury (however is now rumoured to be exiting the club because his contract is due to expire)
Possible Promotion from the B Team
All 4 following players are rumoured to be promoted this Summer, and some are currently negotiating contracts to have promotion written into them:
Can you see Tito’s problem?
If all these players return from loan or are promoted, the team count will be at 32, without the possible Neymar, Center-Back or Goalkeeper purchases.
25 is the maximum, and ideally Tito would like the squad to be around 22-23 players.
1. To keep the squad at 23, whose names would be on your Squad List for next season?
2. Of the players to be off-loaded, which players (maximum of 4) would you loan rather than sell?