While some reports suggested Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez wanted to see Francisco Trincao play before making a final decision, it seems the decision has already been made for him.
According to Sport, Trincao is set for a return to Portugal as the Catalan side has agreed on a deal with Sporting Lisbon. The Portuguese forward would return to the Liga NOS on a €10 million deal and sign on for the next five seasons. Barcelona will maintain 50 percent of his rights and also included a buy-back option.
Trincao spent last season on loan with Wolverhampton Wanderers. Initially, there was speculation of a potential swap deal for Adama Traore when the former academy product joined Barcelona. But that never came to be as Barcelona ruled out signing Traore and Wolves did the same with Trincao.
When Barcelona and Sporting were in negotiations, another possible scenario was Trincao leaving on loan with a purchase option of €20 million. Barcelona will receive half that when the deal becomes official.
Given the amount of forwards the club have at their disposal — without counting the potential arrivals of Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski and the return of Ousmane Dembele — Trincao was not going to have much playing time. Not to mention Alex Collado who is another young forward Xavi is going to want to take a look at.
The 22-year-old Trincao was signed from Braga a couple of seasons ago for €31 million. Aside from a game-winning goal against Betis, his time with Barcelona was rather uneventful.
While he showed more promise with Wolves, it wasn’t enough as he only managed to score 2 goals to go along with 1 assist in the Premier League.
However, he has plenty of time to regain his form and promise he demonstrated at Braga. A return to Portugal may be what he needs to rediscover that magic.