Cristhian Stuani 'Can't Say Anything' on Barcelona January Transfer Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJanuary 16, 2019

SEVILLA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 16: Cristhian Stuani of Girona during the La Liga Santander  match between Sevilla v Girona at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on December 16, 2018 in Sevilla Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Reported Barcelona target Cristhian Stuani was giving little away when quizzed on speculation linking him with the Blaugrana on Tuesday.

Following the sale of Munir El Haddadi to Sevilla in the January window, Barcelona have been left with one senior centre-forward in Luis Suarez and have subsequently been linked with a number of forwards.

Girona forward Stuani is one, and according to Sacha Pisani of Goal, the Uruguayan told reporters he "can't say anything" when asked about the rumours. 

Per Pisani, it's been reported the 32-year-old has a release clause in his contract worth £13 million, meaning he wouldn't be a costly acquisition for the Blaugrana.

CORNELLA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 8: (L-R) Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona, Luis Suarez of FC Barcelona  during the La Liga Santander  match between Espanyol v FC Barcelona at the RCDE Stadium on December 8, 2018 in Cornella Spain (Photo by Jeroen Meuwsen/Soccrates
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

According to Moises Llorens of AS, Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has made it clear to the club that Stuani is the man he wants to support Suarez and Lionel Messi.

It's added Girona have offered their star man a contract extension in an attempt to keep him for longer yet.

Although Barcelona are short of natural strikers they are not short of goals, with Suarez and Messi comfortably the most prolific players in La Liga in 2018-19. The only player who has got close to their haul of goals may end up moving to the Camp Nou too:

Stuani spent time with Espanyol and Middlesbrough before making the switch to Girona in 2017, and his most recent move has brought about the best run of his career.

The Uruguayan was exceptional last season in Girona's first season in the top flight, netting 21 goals in the Spanish top flight to finish fifth in the top scorer race. This term, he's not slowed down either.

So far in the 2018-19 La Liga campaign, the Uruguay international has been the most ruthless player in the division in front of goal, per Opta:

Stuani can provide a varied threat in the final third, as he's netted all different types of goals for Girona.

On Saturday in the 1-1 draw with Alaves in La Liga, the striker scored an outstanding overhead kick. Stuani also provides a major threat in the air, something Barcelona don't have:

If Barcelona were to make a serious move for Stuani, then he'd have a big decision to make. While he's a key man at Girona, for Barcelona minutes would most likely be tougher to come by, with Suarez, Messi, Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho all jostling for positions in the final third.

Still, getting him on board would be a savvy move by Barcelona, as Stuani is a proven goalscorer in the Spanish top flight and would offer something different from the bench in the UEFA Champions League. The player would also surely jump at the chance to join a club of the Blaugrana's size at this stage in his career.

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