Barcelona's green light: Who can they sign and how long do they have?
We explain the rules that will dictate Barcelona's search for a striker after the club was handed permission to make a signing outside the regulation transfer window.
The Spanish Football Federation and LaLiga’s medical commission have given Barcelona the green light to sign a striker outside of the transfer window in order to cover the loss of Ousmane Dembélé, who is set to miss up to six months following surgery on a hamstring tear last week.
Like that, Barça will have 15 days to sign a replacement and must limit their search to Spain’s first and second divisions as they are not authorized to acquire a player from abroad. The same rule applies if the Catalan club look to sign a player on loan. They would be, of course, allowed to bring in any player, either from home or abroad, that has been a free agent since the start of the season.
The chosen forward, however, will not be eligible to play in the Champions League since the period for registration of new players signed during the January window has now closed.
Barcelona’s main candidates
Among the chief candidates being considered by Barcelona are Leganés forward Martin Braithwaite and Ángel Rodríguez of Getafe. Roger Martí (Levante), Ante Budimir (Mallorca) and Lucas Pérez (Alavés) are other names that have been bandied by the Camp Nou sporting directorate, who are poised to make a decision imminently.
With the loss of Luis Suarez, who is not due back until towards the end of the season, and Dembélé, coach Quique Setién currently only has three forwards available to him: Ansu Fati, Antoine Griezmann and Lionel Messi.
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