Barcelona duo Andre Gomes and Thomas Vermaelen could be doubtful for the upcoming two-legged Spanish Super Cup against Real Madrid after being left out of the final pre-season friendly against Chapecoense on Monday (7 August). Liverpool and Everton have been respectively linked with the two players but the Catalan club have made it clear that their omission from Ernesto Valverde's squad are due to injuries.
The La Liga giants will face the Brazilian side in the Joan Gamper Trophy to prepare for the back-to-back El Clasicos against Real on 13 and 16 August.
Summer signing Nelson Semedo is expected to play at the Nou Camp for the first time alongside Lionel Messi and co. However, both Gomes and Vermaelen will miss the game amid speculation linking them with a summer move away from Barcelona.
The La Liga giants have been consumed by transfer rumours in recent days following Neymar's €222m (£200m, $262m) world record transfer to Paris Saint-Germain. Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho, Borussia Dortmund winger Ousmane Dembele and Real Sociedad centre-back Inigo Martinez have tipped to make the move to the Nou Camp to fill the gap left by Neymar but some current members of the squad will also need to leave the club in order to make space for the new additions.
Both Gomes and Vermaelen are said to be two of the main candidates to depart the club but their absences from the pre-season fixture appears to be merely coincidental.
"Andre Gomes and Thomas Vermaelen will both be sitting out the game against Chapecoense," Barcelona have confirmed in the club's website. "The Portuguese player took a knock in the hip playing against Gimnastic Tarragona last Friday, while the Belgian hurt his leg in the same match."
Gomes only joined Barcelona from Valencia last summer but failed to make any impact expected during his debut season. Meanwhile, Vermaelen was sent on loan to AS Roma with hopes he could resurrect his career in Serie A but was only able to make 12 appearances due to a number of fitness issues.
Earlier in the summer, Barcelona reportedly rejected three different big-money offers – one said to be from Manchester United - for Gomes amid suggestions that Valverde still has faith in his future at the club.
The Catalan publication says that Jurgen Klopp is "crazy" about Gomes and could be tempted to change his current stance over parting ways with Coutinho if the Portugual international makes the move to Anfield.
Meanwhile, Vermaelen's future at the Nou Camp looks even more unlikely amid the club's attempts to bring Inigo Martinez from Real Sociedad to bolster the back-line.
Crystal Palace, West Bromwich Albion and Watford have all been linked with the former Arsenal centre-back in recent times but The Sun claim that Everton could land the Belgian with Ronald Koeman planning a move to bring him to Goodison Park.