BARCELONA

Barcelona boss Koeman: January signings important - if possible

Ronald Koeman hopes Barça can sign new players in the mid-season transfer window, but the club are in a difficult financial position due to the covid-19 pandemic.

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Koeman: January signings important for Barcelona - if they are possible

Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman is keen to bolster his options at Camp Nou with some January additions, but he acknowledges the club's financial situation may make it too difficult.

Philippe Coutinho last week joined Ansu Fati, Sergi Roberto and Gerard Piqué on Barça's long-term injury list, while Carles Aleñá was allowed to leave for Getafe on loan until the end of the season.

Koeman has already expressed his desire to add a striker to his ranks, with the club having let Luis Suárez leave in the close season without signing a replacement, and they continue to be linked with Memphis Depay.

However, Barça's finances have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, so much so that they have delayed the biannual wage payment due to players in January.

Koeman: "I understand the situation of the club"

Koeman consequently accepts it may not be possible for Barça to fulfil his wish to bring in new faces.

"It is important for our short-term future. We want to improve the squad. I still think some positions need more competition and effectiveness," said Koeman on Friday.

"But I understand the situation of the club. If it is not possible, it is not possible, and we will wait for the next window."

Koeman suggested Aleñá may not be the only young player to leave this month, though he revealed 17-year-old midfielder Ilaix Moriba could be in line for a first-team debut against Granada on Saturday.

"We have told the players that I think it is better for them to find a way out so they have minutes, predominantly [these suggestions have come from] Ramón Planes [club technical secretary] because I am more focused on the games," said the Dutchman.

"Once again it is the player's decision. I think that for some, without mentioning names, because of their youth it is best to seek the best as a player. A young man cannot go a year without playing. It's not good for improving as a young player.

"We know that with Aleñá's loan we are missing a player, and Ilaix was with us in pre-season. Sometimes he trains with the first team. It is a possibility he will be called up for tomorrow's game."

Injury-plagued Umtiti could make first start of season at Granada

Barça will be without the suspended Clément Lenglet at Nuevo Los Cármenes and Koeman indicated Samuel Umtiti could make his first start of the season in his fellow Frenchman's stead.

"He has been out for a long time and has recovered from his injury. It's a long path for him to be as he was before," said Koeman.

"He has had some minutes and we have to make a decision. Without Lenglet, he and [Óscar] Mingueza can deliver. We will make a decision after training today."

Barcelona to face fellow Catalans Cornellà in Copa del Rey

Following their meeting with Granada, Barça will compete in the Spanish Super Cup and the Copa del Rey.

In the latter competition they were drawn against fellow Catalan side Cornellà, who remarkably knocked out LaLiga leaders Atlético Madrid on Wednesday.

"I am not surprised. There are surprises like this in all countries," Koeman said of Atleti's defeat.

"It can be a complicated game. They deserved to win against Atlético, who played with a strong team. If it's not your day, a lower team with motivation and dedication can make things complicated for you.

"It's a nice tie because we don't have to travel, but we have to adapt to the artificial pitch. There are other games that we have to have maximum attention on first, though."