Barcelona are set to take advantage of La Liga rules to sign another player as Ousmane Dembele has been ruled out of action for at least six months. The 22-year-old has undergone surgery on a serious hamstring tear.
The France international underwent surgery in Finland on Tuesday by Dr. Lasse Lempainen, who has previously operated on Dembele for similar injuries.
Because of the length of time the Frenchman will be on the sidelines for Barca can take advantage of the league’s rules to sign a replacement player.
The regulations stipulate a club are able to purchase a replacement player outside of the transfer window, as long as the player is playing in the same country and the period of absence is more than four months.
Dembele nearly triggered this clause earlier in the season following a previous operation but the winger managed to return earlier than expected.
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However, this isn’t expected to be the case this time and as a result the Catalan giants are preparing to sign a replacement.
The club aren’t unprepared for this situation and according to Spanish publication Marca, they have four transfer targets already lined up.
One of those who is top of the list is Real Sociedad’s Willian Jose.
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The 28-year-old Brazilian has fallen out of favour at his club after having scored eight goals in 24 appearances in all competitions this season.
Another possible target is Deportivo Alaves forward Lucas Perez.
The 31-year-old, former Arsenal and West Ham striker, has scored nine goals and provided four assists in 22 league games this season.
The reports claims Barca are also considering 26-year-old Real Betis striker Loren and 22-year-old Colombian Luis Suarez, who currently plays in the Spanish second division for Real Zaragoza.
In order to be able to make the signing Barca will have to present the surgeons’ report of Dembele’s operation to the Spanish Football Federation within 20 days.
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This would then be handed over to a medical court, who would then make the ruling to permit Barcelona to make the emergency signing.
If this is granted Barca would then have to work quickly as they would only have 15 days to sign a replacement.
Dembele’s injury is a further blow to Barcelona, as they are already dealing with the long-term injury to striker Luis Suarez, who is not expected to return this season.
Barca are currently second in La Liga and three points behind league leaders Real Madrid.
They managed to beat Betis 3-2 last weekend despite both teams going down to 10-men and their next game will see them host Getafe at the Nou Camp on Saturday.
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