Barcelona desperately wants to abuse the loophole so that they can sign a striker NOW after an injury crisis … but which La Liga star gets the call to the Nou Camp?
- Ousmane Dembele is operated on Tuesday on an injured right hamstring
- Barcelona fears that they could be without Dembele for the rest of the campaign
- Barcelona will be able to sign a player for a short-term deal if he is excluded
- Sportsmail assesses the options prior to a crucial 24 hours for Barcelona
Barcelona is eager to wait for Ousmane Dembele to come out for the rest of the season.
Dembele had to undergo surgery on his injured right hamstring on Tuesday afternoon by leading specialist Lasse Lampainen.
The Lampainen report will answer Barcelona’s big question about how long Dembele has been out.
Ousmane Dembele is waiting to find out if he will miss the rest of the Barcelona season
If, as expected, their verdict is yes, Barcelona will be able to go to the Spanish Football Association and argue their case to sign a player for a short-term deal.
Barcelona is desperately looking for a new face and head coach Quique Setien said last week that the need for a center defender was ‘obvious’.
There are 15 games to go and Barcelona knows whether to catch Real Madrid, which now have a three-point lead, then they need reinforcements. This season’s priority may be the Champions League, but Barcelona has won eight of the last 11 competitions and wants to continue that dominance.
Luis Suarez is also eliminated for the rest of the season after surgery on an injured knee
Barcelona is also without Luis Suarez for the remainder of the season after having had an operation for a knee injury.
At the moment the weight is on the shoulders of Lionel Messi. He remains the top scorer of the competition, but for the first time in two years he is now in three games with no goals. He has taken 22 shots in matches against Valencia, Levante and Betis but has not scored.
So who’s coming to strengthen the Barcelona forward line? Sportsmail looks at some options.
Angel Rodriguez – Getafe
The right name, will the 32-year-old target machine be sent to heaven in the hour of emergency in Barcelona? He is direct and aggressive and likes to take on the responsibilities of Luis Suarez by playing in the middle and hanging on the shoulder of the last defender.
He has scored 13 goals in just 1367 minutes of football and is Getafe’s top scorer, despite the fact that he uses Getafe coach Jose Bordalas most frequently as an impact sub. Getafe wants every penny of its £ 9 million release clause, and Barcelona knows they will buy a short-term solution that they are likely to lose money on.
Angel Rodriguez might be 32, but the Getafe striker would have a considerable stop gap
Willian Jose – Real Sociedad
At the age of 28 he is the younger man who could have a future in the club, albeit as a reserve forward next season. Setien worked with him in Las Palmas and would be happy with the former target of Tottenham. The problem would be the costs. His release clause is £ 60 million.
La Real dropped to £ 25m for Tottenham. Now in a position where they could not buy a replacement, that is the least they would accept, although the Brazilian dropped the pecking order behind the 20-year-old Swedish striker Alexander Isak, who has six goals in eight games.
Willian Jose worked under Barcelona head coach Quique Setien when he played for Las Palmas
Lucas Perez – Alaves
At the age of 31, the former Arsenal striker is experiencing a good season with Alaves and forms a very effective collaboration with one-off Newcastle striker Joselu. He would cost only £ 15 million, although Barcelona would still need a loan to get him and face the anger of supporters for their poor planning, especially if he failed to click with Messi and his company .
However, he fits Setien’s request that the player who buys the club is “versatile”, but he has indicated to friends that he thinks he is not going anywhere.
Getafe ahead Lucas Perez would cost Barcelona £ 15 million if they opt for the 31-year-old
Loren Moron – Real Betis
At 26, the Betis striker is the youngest option. Again, Setien would have the advantage that she had already worked with the player. Loren wants to take the risk, especially after he got out of favor with Betis, where, despite a good start of the season, he is the second choice for the big summer with Borja Iglesias.
Barcelona did not ask Betis about the attacker when they played the club at the weekend, but that does not mean that they will turn to him if Dembele’s absence of five months is confirmed.
At the age of 26, Real Betis striker Loren Moron is the youngest of the potential goals of Barcelona