Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman continues to insist the club bring in two signings in the January transfer window despite the club’s difficult financial situation.
The Dutchman remains adamant Barca sign center-back Eric Garcia from Manchester City and Lyon forward Memphis Depay, according to Fernando Polo at Mundo Deportivo.
Koeman thinks Barca need to strengthen to have any chance of challenging Atletico Madrid for the league title and also to help with what will surely be a tough opponent in the Champions League last 16.
The draw for the first knockout round is due to be held on Monday and Barcelona will face either Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain or Borussia Dortmund.
The January transfer window could prove tricky for Barca. Interim president Carles Tusquets has already told reporters the club must sell before they can buy, while a new president is due to be installed at the end of the month after elections on January 24.
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Barcelona’s Defensive Disasters
Barca’s defense has been in the spotlight all season due to injury and errors. Key center-back Gerard Pique has been ruled out for months after picking up a knee injury and is not expected back until March 2021.
The 33-year-old has certainly been missed with goalkeepers Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Neto joining defenders Oscar Mingueza, Clement Lenglet, and Jordi Alba in making high-profile mistakes this season that have proved costly.
Barca have been boosted in recent weeks by the return of Ronald Araujo and Samuel Umtiti from injury. Yet Araujo is still relatively inexperienced, while questions marks remain over Umtiti’s long-term fitness and whether he can regain top form after being plagued by knee trouble.
Koeman confirmed back in October the club do want to bring Garcia back from Manchester City, as reported by Goal. Yet it might make more financial sense to wait until the end of the season when the defender is a free agent.
Koeman Handed Memphis Warning
Depay is another player who is out of contract at the end of the season. The versatile star has worked with Koeman previously with the Netherlands national team and played a starring role under the coach.
The 26-year-old can play out wide or as a No. 9 and would certainly offer Barca more options in attack following the departure of Luis Suarez to Atletico Madrid and with teenager Ansu Fati sidelined after undergoing knee surgery.
Yet former Barcelona midfielder Ronald de Boer has warned that Memphis will not fix all of the team’s attacking problems, as reported by AS.
He is a good player with many resources in attack. He can carry the ball, hold his back, he has a good free-kick, but it takes more than Depay, it takes much more than that.
Depay admitted he “came close” to joining Barcelona in the summer transfer window before the proposed move broke down, as reported by Metro. If Koeman has his way, and finances allow, then it seems Barca will try again next month.