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Xavi rules out Barcelona moving for Marc-Andre ter Stegen replacement

Xavi rules out Barcelona moving for Ter Stegen replacement
© Reuters
Barcelona boss Xavi reveals that his club will not be making a move for another goalkeeper in January despite Marc-Andre ter Stegen's back operation.

Barcelona head coach Xavi has revealed that his club will not be making a move for another goalkeeper when the January transfer window opens for business.

The club's current number one stopper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is facing a period on the sidelines due to a back injury, which has required an operation.

"First team player Marc ter Stegen has successfully undergone surgery for his lower back issues," read a statement on Barcelona's official website on Friday, with the injury occurring while he was away with the German national team last month.

"The procedure was performed by Dr. Amelie Leglise under the supervision of the club's Medical Services, at Sports Clinic Bordeux Merignac. He is out and his recovery will determine his availability."

There have been claims that Barcelona will look to sign a short-term replacement for him in January, but Xavi has said that will not be the case, with the club having full confidence in Inaki Pena.

Barcelona goalkeeper Inaki Pena on November 25, 2023© Reuters

"It's not an option to sign a goalkeeper. We're confident with what we have. We trust Marc will recover soon," the Barcelona boss told reporters on Saturday.

Xavi added that the club "fully trust Inaki Pena", with the Spaniard set to continue as the number one while Ter Stegen recovers from his operation.

Pena, 24, came through the youth system at Barcelona, but he had only played five first-team matches for the club before the start of this season.

The Spaniard actually featured on eight occasions for Galatasaray during a loan spell in 2021-22, before he dropped out of the side due to Fernando Muslera's return from injury.

Barcelona's Inaki Pena pictured in 2019© Reuters

Pena has featured in Barcelona's last two league games with Rayo Vallecano and Atletico Madrid, keeping a clean sheet against the latter last weekend.

The goalkeeper also helped the Catalan outfit record a 2-1 victory over Porto in the Champions League at the end of November, and he will again be between the sticks against Girona on Sunday.

There have been contrasting reports over the length of Ter Stegen's absence, but it is believed to have been a straightforward operation, with his return potentially coming in the early stages of 2024.

An injury to Pena would likely lead to Ander Astralaga, 19, becoming the number one, while 17-year-old Diego Kochen is also a part of the goalkeeping department at the club.

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