Aleix Vidal has been left out of Barcelona’s matchday squad for their game with Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday despite manager Luis Enrique giving him a glimmer of hope the day before, amid speculation he’s set to leave the club in January.
Per Javier Giraldo of Sport, on Friday Enrique insisted there were no problems with the player and did not rule out the possibility of him making an appearance:
As much as I can explain, my decisions are what they are, they speak for themselves. I’m not here to tell the tale of Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf or narrate a movie, I don’t have any problems with any of my players, no complaints with anyone on the squad.
I think it’s the same situation that every coach has. There is always someone they can’t get into the squad.
We’ve only trained all together for a few days, but all players who are available have chances to play tomorrow.
Spanish football writers Sam Marsden and Richard Martin noted that Vidal’s absence comes despite Sergi Roberto being unavailable:
Despite injury to Sergi Roberto, Aleix Vidal still doesn’t make Barça squad, so no right-back today against Depor.
— Sam Marsden (@samuelmarsden) October 15, 2016
Aleix Vidal left out of Barca squad again even when Sergi Roberto out. He must have insulted Luis Enrique’s mother or something like that
— Richard Martin (@Rich9908) October 15, 2016
Indeed, such a decision appears telling, with the right-back now having been left out of the squad for seven successive matches.
Vidal was registered at the club in January but has made just 16 appearances since then with only two coming this season.
Spanish football expert Sergi Dominguez expects him to leave:
We’ve seen Lucho change to a 3-man back-like just so Aleix doesn’t start and now potentially this. No future at the club, it seems.
— Sergi Domínguez (@FutbolSergi) October 11, 2016
According to Mundo Deportivo (h/t the Chronicle‘s Craig Johns), the 27-year-old has five clubs interested in signing him in January—Sunderland, Napoli, Granada and the two Milan sides.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that Vidal will be on the move, and at his age he should be getting game time, so it will take an unlikely turnaround to salvage his Barcelona career at this point.
Meanwhile, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t AS), Inter Milan have drawn up a list of targets for next summer including Barca‘s Luis Suarez.
Backed by Suning Holdings Group, their new Chinese owners, the club are looking to reestablish themselves as one of the top teams in Italy and the rest of Europe.
Suarez has been a phenomenal capture for Barca and was arguably their best player last season, as demonstrated by Squawka Football:
Luis Suarez’s La Liga by numbers last season:
55 chances created
Not shortlisted. https://t.co/ah6fGEC5x5
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 5, 2016
The Uruguayan’s friendship and chemistry with Lionel Messi and Neymar has helped take the trio and the team to new heights and a great deal more success awaits if he stays put.
Should he wish to take on a new challenge—particularly having won everything there is to win at Barca—he could be intrigued by Inter if they’re prepared to follow through on their ambitions.