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Xavi’s in-house squad solutions if Barcelona do not sign players in January – report

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Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images

Heading into the World Cup break, there had been a lot of talk about Barcelona being ready to dip their toes into the winter transfer market for reinforcements.

A new right-back and a central midfielder were believed to be priorities for manager Xavi Hernandez & co. And while that continues to remain the case, president Joan Laporta has recently indicated that bringing in new players in January could be difficult.

Barça are again mired in Financial Fair Play issues and may not have scope for new signings, despite the retirement of Gerard Pique and the potential sale of Memphis Depay.

As such, Mundo Deportivo reports that manager Xavi will have to find solutions for the positions in which he seeks reinforcements from within the squad itself.

As iterated earlier, the right-back slot was seen as a priority due to Hector Bellerin underperfoming and Sergi Roberto battling fitness woes.

But in case Barcelona cannot bring a new player, Xavi can always turn to Jules Kounde, who has played in the role this season and is doing so with the France national team at the FIFA World Cup 2022 currently.

On top of that, Xavi can also count on Ronald Araujo as a possibility at right-back once the Uruguayan returns from injury. Meanwhile, Alejandro Balde has also displayed that he can be a reliable option as a makeshift right-back, despite being a left-back.

As for the reinforcements in the pivot position in the middle of the park, Barcelona are interested in signing Martin Zubimendi or Ruben Neves. But in the scenario that nobody arrives, the manager can count on Frenkie de Jong to provide cover for Sergio Busquets.

The Dutchman has been in fine form in recent weeks and has shown that he can do the job as an interior or in a pivot role.

With Pique’s retirement, Barcelona have also lost a centre-back, but in Marcos Alonso, Xavi has someone who can be counted on as the fifth-choice central defender, with the former Chelsea ace doing fairly well in the role in the games before the World Cup break.

Finally, Depay’s possible exit would mean that Barcelona would be deprived of a backup option to Robert Lewandowski in the No. 9 role. However, Ansu Fati and Ferran Torres can be used in central roles.

So, even though some positions could use upgrades, particularly the right-back slot, Xavi has enough depth at his disposal to see the season through if Barcelona are unable to sign a new player.

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