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Barcelona 'step up striker search' after Ousmane Dembele surgery

Barcelona 'step up striker search' after Dembele surgery
© Reuters
Barcelona will reportedly step up their search for an emergency striker signing after seeing Ousmane Dembele ruled out for six months following surgery on a thigh injury.

Barcelona have reportedly stepped up their search for a new striker after it was confirmed that Ousmane Dembele will miss up to six months with a thigh injury.

The French winger underwent surgery on the problem earlier today, ruling him out for the rest of the season and also denying him the chance to feature for his country at Euro 2020.

Dembele's absence leaves Barcelona short in attack with Luis Suarez also sidelined for much of the remainder of 2019-20 due to a knee injury, and the Spanish champions are now on the lookout for an emergency signing to cover.

Real Sociedad's Willian Jose is thought to be Barca's first choice, although his asking price is likely to be a stumbling block in negotiations.

Real Zaragoza's own Luis Suarez has also been linked with a move to Camp Nou, while Angel Rodriguez, Lucas Perez, Loren Moron, Cristhian Stuani and Ante Budimir are other options to have been mentioned as part of Barca's search.

La Liga rules allow clubs to sign players outside the transfer window to replace someone who has been ruled out for a period of at least five months, but only if that player is unattached or on the books of another club in Spain's top two tiers.

Barcelona would also have to deregister the injured Dembele and must make a request for an emergency signing no more than 20 days after the player in question suffered his injury.

Quique Setien's side currently sit second in La Liga, three points adrift of bitter rivals Real Madrid.

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Real Madrid's Jesus Vallejo in action with Real Sociedad's Willian Jose on May 12, 2019
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