Luis Enrique has confirmed that Barcelona are looking into the possibility of signing a new right-back after Aleix Vidal was ruled out for the rest of the season.
Vidal, who had been in good form since the turn of the year, dislocated his ankle in Saturday’s win over Alaves and will be sidelined for five months, leaving converted midfielder Sergi Roberto as Barca’s only fit right-sided full-back.
The transfer window officially closed in January, but rules in Spain would allow Barcelona to make an emergency signing to cover the absence.
Barcelona targeting emergency signing to replace injured Aleix Vidal
However, the player must either be without a club at the moment or already registered to play in the Spanish league this season.
“Aleix has already started the recovery process,” Luis Enrique said when asked how the former Sevilla man is doing and about the possibility of replacing him. “It’s now a question of trying to get better step by step.
“Whenever a player’s out [long-term] and [while the] rules allow us to bring in a new player, it’s an option we will look at taking.
“He is a player we will miss considerably, so [signing a player] is something we are considering and if there’s an option which convinces us we may well go for it.”
Valencia’s Joao Cancelo, Las Palmas’ Michel Macedo, Celta Vigo’s Jonny Castro and Eibar’s Ander Capa have all been touted as potential signings, while Martin Caceres, who played for Barcelona nine years ago, is currently without a club.
Diario Sport reported Luis Enrique will meet with sporting director Robert Fernandez this week to discuss Barcelona’s options.
Another option is to utilise a B team player, and that’s what Luis Enrique has done for Tuesday’s trip to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, with Nili Perdomo travelling with the first team to the French capital.
The decision has been questioned by some local journalists, though, given the Sergi Palencia is currently preferred to Nili in Gerard Lopez’s promotion-chasing second team.
Asked why he’d not chosen Palencia, Luis Enrique responded: “Because I am the manager and I have to make decisions.
“Nili is one of few B team players with first division experience, playing for Las Palmas, and I make the decisions.”
Any signing from outside the club would be permitted to play in the league and the Copa del Rey final — for which Roberto is suspended — but UEFA rules would prohibit him from playing in the Champions League.