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Barcelona youngster in contention to replace Gerard Pique, Xavi trusts the player

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Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Gerard Pique’s sudden retirement from professional football served as a major shocker for FC Barcelona. Although his departure has helped the club free up a chunk of the club’s wage budget, it has also created a large gaping hole in the defensive unit.

In fact, Pique’s exit has accentuated the need for a new defensive player in the upcoming January transfer window, especially given the way how the likes of Andreas Christensen, Jules Kounde and Ronald Araujo have struggled with injuries in this ongoing campaign.

However, due to the Financial Fair Play regulations faced by the Barcelona club, they might not be able to sign any top-quality player in the upcoming January transfer window.

As such, a report from Gabriel Sans (h/t Barça Times) suggests Barcelona are looking for home solutions in light of the club’s issues with FFP. One of the solutions could involve Chadi Riad.

The tall centre-back has raised many eyebrows with his performances at Barça Athletic in recent years. He had been playing consistently for the subsidiary squad as well and has represented Morocco at the youth level.

Chadi’s performances were even rewarded with a maiden call-up to the Barcelona senior squad during the club’s final league game against Osasuna. The defender had appeared as a late substitute against the Pamplona outfit.

With Pique retired, Xavi Hernandez might consider the option of featuring Chadi more prominently in the first team. Although the young Moroccan might not necessarily become a first-team option for the club anytime soon, he could be an excellent alternative for the likes of Christensen, Araujo and Kounde.

Barcelona, though, are also actively looking for options in the January transfer market, with Inigo Martinez emerging as one of the club’s top targets.

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