Josep Bartomeu ready to wield the axe


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Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu has confirmed the club have already started to work on outgoing deals ahead of this summer’s transfer window.

The Spanish champions are planning for next season following their Copa del Rey disappointment on Saturday evening.

Barcelona saw their four-year cup streak ended as they were beaten 2-1 by Valencia. Goals from Kevin Gameiro and Rodrigo Moreno scored in the first half at the Benito Villamarin stadium saw Los Che end Barca’s chances of a double.

Ernesto Valverde’s men struggled without Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele, although Lionel Messi played, scoring the Catalans’ consolation.

The likes of Andre Gomes, Malcom Samuel Umtiti and Philippe Coutinho have all been linked with a Nou Camp exit and Bartomeu confirms the club are ready to reduce the size of their squad.

He said: “The season ends with the La Liga title. It wasn’t to be in the Copa del Rey and we keep moving forward.

“Every year new players come in. So far we have confirmed De Jong’s signing and now we will work on bringing in others and moving players on, as is normal every summer.

“Now is not the moment to do anything. There are always new signings, but now is not the moment to talk about it.”

While Barcelona were left disappointed, Valencia won their first major trophy since 2008 and captain Dani Parejo admits it was a special moment in his career.

“I’m so happy because for me, my family, it’s incredible,” said Parejo.

“A club like Valencia deserves a lot more joy like this. I don’t have the words, it’s incredible. “We’ve made history in a really significant year, our centenary year.”

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