Barcelona may be struggling financially but coach Ronald Koeman is still hopeful the club can bring in one more player before the close of the summer transfer window.
The Catalans giants have already brought in Eric Garcia, Memphis Depay, Sergio Aguero, and Emerson Royal, but Koeman wants to add another attacker due to the club’s injury situation and following the departure of captain Lionel Messi.
Koeman spoke about his desire to strengthen his squad at a pre-match press conference on Saturday but admitted he does not know if it will be possible due to the club’s difficult financial situation.
“If we analyse all the positions of our squad, we have important players out up front – Ansu, Dembele, Aguero, Coutinho – they are four quality players,” he said. “We have a short list up front and that’s why we are thinking about trying to sign a forward. We have different kinds of profiles. but to have more competition, yes, but it all depends on whether we can sign. If it’s possible we’ll try to sign one player up front.”
A new signing looks impossible unless Barca can offload some players first. The club’s huge debts and La Liga’s salary cap have caused the Catalans all sorts of problems this summer.
Messi left despite a deal having been agreed, while Barca announced on Saturday they had finally been able to register Memphis, Garcia, and Rey Manaj after central defender Gerard Pique agreed a significant salary reduction.
Follow the Heavy on Barcelona Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Koeman Talks Up Memphis
Barcelona will be able to give new attacker Memphis a La Liga debut on Sunday against Real Sociedad, and Koeman also told reporters he is expecting big things from the Netherlands international.
The Dutchman has arrived on a free transfer from Lyon but links up once again with Koeman and Frenkie de Jong. The forward has already worked with both during Koeman’s time in charge of the Netherlands national team before he joined Barca.
“I expect great things from Memphis. I know him well. We worked for two years together with the national team were he was an important player and I want to see the same Memphis,” he explained. “A strong striker, fast, a clinical player. We need to ask our forwards and midfielders to score goals and we will also try to improve our strategy to score more goals from set pieces. Memphis is an important player in this sense.”
Memphis scored on his Barcelona debut in preseason against Girona and was also on target in friendlies against Stuttgart and Juventus in what’s been a promising start to life with the Catalan giants.
Focus On Griezmann After Messi Exit
Koeman also talked up Antoine Griezmann ahead of Sunday’s match. The World Cup winner will be expected to step up following Messi’s exit, and his manager spoke of the qualities he brings to the team.
“I’ve explained it many times. I love to work with Antoine Griezmann because he’s the player in the squad who always helps the team without the ball,” he added. “He’s a happy guy. He’s one of the players who must take a step up now and be more clinical. He’ll have a more important role because he can play in Messi’s position and this can be an advantage for him.”
Memphis and Griezmann are both expected to start in attack against Real Sociedad in a game which sees the Frenchman come up against one of his former sides. Griezmann spent 10 years with La Real before joining Atletico in 2014.