Quique Setien Discusses Barcelona Striker Search, Outgoing Transfers, More

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistJanuary 22, 2020

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JANUARY 19: (L-R) coach Quique Setien of FC Barcelona, second coach Eder Sarabia of FC Barcelona during the La Liga Santander  match between FC Barcelona v Granada at the Camp Nou on January 19, 2020 in Barcelona Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Barcelona manager Quique Setien has weighed in on the club's search for a new striker, telling reporters discussions are taking place but he's not too worried about it.

Per Sport's Javier Giraldo, the Catalans will be without Luis Suarez for the next four months due to a knee injury. Barcelona are looking at replacements, but Setien's focus is on the upcoming schedule, not his squad:

"It's true we're speaking about it. But we still have to move things on a little bit. It's not something I am worried about too much, I'm thinking about the match tomorrow (against Ibiza in the Copa del Rey) and against Valencia. Everything else has to be studied exhaustively; then we will see what the most convenient [option] is.

"It's an issue I still can't answer and I am not going to do so. I have spoken about some things with the club, but nothing in concrete.

"They're internal issues, and it's preferable for me if you don't ask me, because I am not going to say anything, so let's not waste time."  

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - JANUARY 09: Luis Suarez of FC Barcelona (C) reacts during the Supercopa de Espana Semi-Final match between FC Barcelona and Club Atletico de Madrid at King Abdullah Sports City on January 9, 2020 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by R
Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Per Santi Gimenez of AS, he also said everyone at the club is part of his plans, and he's not thinking about any outgoing transfers.

On the Copa del Rey match against Ibiza, Setien said he'll watch his players in training before deciding who will play. Lionel Messi will not be part of the squad

Suarez had been a vital part of the Barcelona team tied for the La Liga lead with Real Madrid prior to his injury. In 17 outings in the competition, he bagged 11 goals and added seven assists.

Barcelona's French forward Antoine Griezmann (R) and Barcelona's Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez warm up ahead of the Spanish Super Cup semi final between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid on January 9, 2020, at the King Abdullah Sport City in the Saudi Arabian
FAYEZ NURELDINE/Getty Images

His injury is a major setback for the Blaugrana, who have limited depth at the striker position.

Barcelona B's Abel Ruiz is seen as a major talent but has limited senior experience, and Ansu Fati, Carles Perez and Ousmane Dembele are both more comfortable out wide than through the centre. That leaves Antoine Griezmann and Messi as the top options, with no real backup on the bench.

According to Marca, the Catalans are looking at Valencia's Rodrigo as a potential January addition:

Blogger Rafael Hernandez believes Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani won't be an option because of his high wage demands:

Those demands could be met if Barcelona cleared some wages from their current bill, and several players have been linked with a move away in January. According to Mundo Deportivo (h/t Football Italia), the club are not happy with how Arturo Vidal tried to engineer a transfer to Inter Milan, and fellow midfielder Ivan Rakitic has also been the subject of speculation

Per Calciomercato.com, a proposed swap deal with Juventus' Federico Bernardeschi is looking less likely than before:

Setien will have the chance to experiment with his side when they visit Ibiza on Wednesday. The minnows play in the Segunda Division B and are not expected to put up much resistance against the record 30-times champions. 

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