Do Barcelona Need a Big Transfer Deal in Final Week of January Transfer Window?

Rik Sharma@@riksharma_Featured ColumnistJanuary 25, 2016

Celta Vigo's forward Nolito celebrates after scoring a goal during the Spanish league football match RC Celta de Vigo vs Real Sporting de Gijon at the Balaidos stadium in Vigo on November 28, 2015.   Celta won the match 2-1. AFP PHOTO/ MIGUEL RIOPA / AFP / MIGUEL RIOPA        (Photo credit should read MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP/Getty Images)

Spain's transfer window shuts on January 29, and Barcelona are yet to make any reinforcements.

They are going strong in all three major competitions—La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League—so it might be the ideal time to fill any holes before the run-in begins in earnest.

However, the likelihood is they will not be making any additions, let alone a big transfer deal.

Of course, signing a world-class player rarely goes amiss, and it's true there are some gaps in Barcelona's squad.

Coach Luis Enrique, for one, would love to add a new forward, in case any of first-choice trident Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez or Neymar gets injured or needs a break.

Daniel Tejedor/Associated Press

Per Sport, when asked where he most wanted to add to his side, the Asturian responded: “I don’t know if I should answer that or not, but it’s a good question. Right now, I think probably in attack—if we are to bring someone in. In all areas, though, it would be nice to bring in reinforcements."

However, despite the coach's desire, it cannot be argued that Barcelona "need a big transfer deal."

Their position in each competition demonstrates that, with Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal—who only started playing in January after the FIFA ban that stopped them registering in the summer—already proving good reinforcements.

Arda can play in either the left or right forward positions, as well as an attacking midfielder. His versatility is a big boost for Barcelona.

Alvaro Barrientos/Associated Press

Vidal is flexible, too, able to play as a winger, even though his main job will be competing with Dani Alves for the right-back spot, relieving the Brazilian and forcing him to stay at the top of his game.

Furthermore, Munir El Haddadi has picked the perfect moment to find some form.

Earlier in the season, we saw Luis Enrique rotating Munir and Sandro Ramirez as various problems kept Neymar and Messi out of action.

The coach didn’t seem to have a preference for either, and both were relatively ineffective. However, Munir has taken a leap forward in recent weeks.

It started at the Club World Cup, where he played fairly well against Guangzhou Evergrande in Japan, slowly convincing Lucho that he was the man to fill in when there were problems up top.

Alvaro Barrientos/Associated Press

He scored both of Barcelona’s goals away at Espanyol in the Copa del Rey last 16, before adding another in that competition in Bilbao in the Copa del Rey against Athletic Club.

Munir also opened the scoring for Barcelona away at Malaga in La Liga at the weekend, his first goal in that competition since he scored on the opening day of the 2014-15 campaign.

Nobody, bar Messi, has scored more goals for Barcelona in January than Munir, and it will give the Blaugrana hope that even if they can’t bring in either of their two main transfer targets, all will be well.

According to Sport, Luis Enrique would love to bring both Nolito—whom he most recently managed at Celta Vigo—and Villarreal's Denis Suarez back to Barcelona.

Fernando Baquero wrote: “Nolito's transfer has more chance of success. Celta only want to make sure they will get his €18 million release fee clause, now or at the end of the season. The unique obstacle is Barcelona need to find a way to pay it after June 30, to avoid it being put on this season's economic balance.”

VIGO, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 23: Marc-Andre Ter Stegen of FC Barcelona looks on as Manuel Agudo 'Nolito' (not seen) of Celta Vigo scores the opening goal and Iago Aspas celebrates during the La Liga match between Celta Vigo and FC Barcelona at Estadio Balaidos
Alex Caparros/Getty Images

That seems to be difficult for the Catalans to do, though, given the clubs have been at an impasse for a few weeks.

If it doesn’t happen, Barcelona need not panic. After Atletico Madrid failed to beat 10-man Sevilla at the Vicente Calderon on Sunday, Luis Enrique’s team stayed top of La Liga.

They are joint top on 48 points with Atletico, with Madrid four behind. Barcelona also have a game in hand.

What’s more, they host Atletico next weekend and then Real Madrid in a few weeks’ time; Barcelona have got the tough away games out of the way already.

Instead of signing big now, which might be impossible anyway as it’s clear Barcelona can’t spend much money, they should keep their powder dry and strike big in the summer market, when both Madrid sides, in theory, should start serving their transfer registration bans.


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