atching Real Madrid lift the Champions League trophy after defeating Liverpool will have hurt Barcelona.
The Blaugrana cruised to the La Liga title but a dampener was put on the season when Gareth Bale and co. lifted their third straight European crown.
It says a lot about Barcelona’s aspirations that questions are asked after any season in which they do not win the Champions League.
Yet the manner of their exit was seriously disappointing.
Leading 4-1 from the first leg of their quarter-final tie against Roma, Barcelona collapsed as they succumbed to a 3-0 defeat in the second leg.
It’s now three consecutive years that Barca have been knocked out at the last-eight.
Valverde’s attentions will now turn to the transfer market as he looks to improve upon that disappointing run.
Who Barcelona players want
Barcelona have been heavily linked with a move for Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann.
But according to Spanish outlet Sport, the players have another name in mind.
They claim that some of the most important players at the Camp Nou have asked Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu to re-sign Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich.
“They think he will be ideal to return after five seasons at Bayern Munich, having matured, learned from another league and improved in various aspects of his game, especially defensively,” Sport write.
Thiago, 27, is not in new Bayern manager Niko Kovac’s plans and so the Bundesliga club are prepared to sell.
Barcelona’s players believe that the Spain international would fill Andres Iniesta’s position perfectly, with Philippe Coutinho performing better as a forward.
The Bayern midfielder would like to return to the club he left in 2013 “for sporting and family reasons”.
However, Barcelona don’t want to pay Bayern’s €80 million asking fee.
Real Zaragoza v FC Barcelona – La Liga
The La Liga champions will try to strike a deal for €50m.
Thiago has enjoyed five successful seasons at the Allianz Arena, winning the Bundesliga title in every campaign and adding the DFB-Pokal in 2016.
But it’s easy to see why he would want to return to Barcelona, where he is familia
r with a number of first-team players.
Thiago came through the youth system with Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto, and he would be welcomed back with open arms.