Barca coach rules out signings till January

Madrid, Sep 20 (IANS) FC Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has said that his club will not be able to make any new signings to replace injured midfielder Rafinha Alcantara till January.

Rafinha will miss the rest of the season after breaking his cruciate knee ligament in the Champions League game away to Roma on Wednesday and will not play again this season, reports Xinhua news agency.

It is a major blow for Barca because although the club have signed Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal, the FIFA ban imposed on the club for breaching regulations regarding signing of youngsters for their youth system means they can’t be included in the squad until January.

It has been rumoured that Barca would ask FIFA to relax the ban, but speaking to the press ahead of his side’s home game against Levante on Sunday, Luis Enrique ruled that option out.

“There are no options,” he said. “We are a squad that has to get over the negative things. The news is extremely sad for the player and we will have to cover for his absence with players from the youth team.”

“It doesn’t change our objectives,” he insisted, adding that despite losing Rafinha, the Barca squad had enough depth.

“There are only three months to go until we can bring in new players. We have a sufficiently good squad to play all three competitions (l League, Champions League and Kings Cup) with guarantees.

“We would have preferred it had things been different but everybody knows perfectly well the situation. The club asked Fifa months ago if we could make signings and we were told no. I am working on the assumption that we can’t add to the squad until January,” he concluded.

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