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Cash-strapped Barcelona could sign ex-Manchester United star if other transfer opportunities fail to arise in January: Reports

Barcelona are reportedly (as per Metro) considering a deal for former Manchester United attacker Jesse Lingard. The English international is currently without a club after leaving Nottingham Forest in the summer of 2023. He could become a serious option for Barca due to the poor financial health of the club, in accordance with Financial Fair Play rules.

Xavi’s team have had to make several deals with free-agent players over the last few transfer windows for Barcelona to recover from their cash-strapped situation and get ahead of the Financial Fair Play rules imposed on La Liga clubs. Free agent Lingard represents a good squad option for Barca, as he has also allegedly agreed to cut down on his salary demands to seal a transfer to Nou Camp.

Metro has further reported that Lingard is not Barca’s first-choice signing and they will hence wait a little longer to see if any other potential candidate becomes available. Barca will have to register Lingard by February 2 in their Champions League squad if they want him to be available for the knockout stages of the competition, where they will face Napoli in the Round of 16. The Catalan giants can register Lingard at any point for the La Liga season.

Since leaving Nottingham last season, Lingard trained with Saudi Pro League club Al-Ettifaq for a month but failed to agree a financial package with Steven Gerrard’s side. He has also reportedly been linked with Major League side Portland Timbers since allegedly changing his agent in a bid to find a new club. He could opt to sign for Barca ahead of other options, even at the cost of a lesser wage, to revitalize his career.

Barcelona boss Xavi admits that the club are missing Gavi

Barcelona are suffering in their domestic campaign this season. After winning La Liga last season, they are now fourth in the standings, eight points behind leaders Girona, who have played one game more.

They also recently lost 4-1 to Real Madrid in the final of the Supercopa de Espana. Before their Copa Del Rey clash against the Unionistas de Salamanca, manager Xavi addressed the hole left by Gavi, who was injured in November 2023 and will not play again this season.

He said (as quoted by Football Espana):

“We lack Gavi’s leadership, his heart. The injury to Gavi is a stab into the heart. He is the soul of the team. That’s the reality.”

Their Copa Del Rey match will take place on January 18, Thursday.

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