Ronald Koeman is not wasting time; he’s talking to his squad and telling them what he thinks of them ahead of the new season. He told Suarez, Rakitic, Vidal, Umtiti and Junior Firpo that they aren’t in his plans. Meanwhile he’s also spoken to Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets.
He told the defender he is still a key figure, untouchable, in the Barcelona side, while the midfielder is still wanted at the club but he no longer has the privilege he is used to and is far from guaranteed to start all games.
Koeman told Pique that he is important and that his leadership will be important in defence; he wants him to keep being the ‘Kaiser’ of a more intense team.
More different is Busquets’s position. Frenkie de Jong will get games in pivote and it may be alongside new signing Miralem Pjanic, rather than Busquets.
However Sergio will be useful too. If he feels that is not enough then the club will sit down with him and talk; he’s spent his life here and has the right to decide.