The Spanish champions FC Barcelona return to action in La Liga this weekend as they aim to defend their league title after the mid-November international break. Barca boss Xavi faces increased challenges as Pablo Gavi’s season comes to an end due to injury.
The Catalan giants faced early-season setbacks with an injury crisis in the camp, but there are positive developments as players like Lewandowski, Kounde, and Raphinha regain full fitness. Unfortunately, Barcelona faced a setback with Gavi suffering an ACL injury while on international duty with Spain. As a result, the club is exploring potential replacements in the middle of the park.
Barcelona sizing up Thiago Alcantara reunion
The injury to the Blaugrana’s golden boy Gavi, has become a serious concern for Xavi and the team. While representing La Roja, the 19-year-old suffered a severe knee injury, completely tearing his anterior ligament against Georgia in the Euro qualifiers. Gavi was forced off in the 26th minute of the first-half match.
The club has officially confirmed Gavi’s absence for the rest of the season following a comprehensive examination of the injury. Barcelona is already grappling with the absence of key midfielders Frankie De Jong and Sergio Roberto, and now the teenage sensation joins them on the sidelines.
Reportedly, Barcelona has begun exploring potential options in the market to find a suitable short-term replacement for Gavi, particularly after Xavi urged the club’s management for a new addition to address the midfielder’s absence in the upcoming January transfer window.
Former Barcelona midfield maestro Thiago Alcantara is among the names that have emerged as potential reinforcements for the Barca squad. The La Masia graduate played at Camp Nou before moving to Bayern Munich in 2013 and recent reports hint at a possible reunion with his boyhood club. Lo Celso and Guido Rodriguez are a few other names on the list.
Saudi interest gathers around Barcelona winger Raphinha
Former Barcelona superstar Neymar Jr., who joined the Saudi Pro League club Al-Hilal this summer, has been ruled out for ACL and meniscus surgery due to an injury sustained against Uruguay. Consequently, the Saudi outfit has expressed interest in another Brazilian forward from Barcelona, Raphinha, as a suitable choice to fill Neymar’s role.
Initial reports suggested that Barcelona is considering an audacious swap deal with Newcastle, offering Raphinha in exchange for Bruno Guimarães. The Brazil international, who was linked with a move away from Spain during the summer, expressed his intention to stay at Camp Nou.
It remains to be seen whether, amid an underperforming season, the forward would consider an exit.