It's no secret that Barcelona are looking for a striker with certain characteristics: someone that can score goals, that accepts a backup role and that doesn't need an adaption period. And, according to Barça president Josep Maria Bartomeu, it will not just be a signing for the present, but also for the future.
In an exclusive interview with SPORT, the Barça chief says the January transfer window will allow Barça to improve their squad. They've already done so with Jeison Murillo, signed in December, and now they will do so with a forward.
"In every window there are opportunities," Bartomeu said. "As clubs we're observing what's happening with players, with teams and in this case in this January transfer window there are a lot of movements. But there also were in January. We have to get used to teams not only planning for the current season, but also the future. What are we doing now? Well, [a forward] for the present and the future."
Bartomeu would not reveal the club's plans ("we have to protect the club," he argued), insisting that Barça "must be alter to what's happening in the market to be able to move in either of the two windows. Now, if there's a player of interest to the club, whether a permanent signing or a loan, we're going to try. We're on top of what's happening in the market."
Bartomeu added: "In addition, we are motivated to have a great season with the team, with objectives like those marked out by the players in the squad. Jordi Alba's said that we have to go for the Treble, so we have to work in that line to have the best players possible."
In contrast, the squad has also seen players leave, like Munir, who joined Sevilla. "He's a player that had a renewal offer on the table. He preferred to look for a future in another team," explained Bartomeu.
BLIND FAITH IN DEMBELE
On the Ousmane Dembele situation (the Frenchman has recovered his form and his standing in the team after some off the pitch problems) the president says he "is a great player, young with big potential and an incredible talent."
He continued: "He's come to a huge club. He knew it wouldn't be easy and he knows that now, too. He has to work hard every day, which he is doing. With effort, motivation and ambition. The coaches believe in him, so do his teammates, so there's only one pathway here: success."
Bartomeu, though, preferred not to talk about Neymar, who could have marked an era at the club but instead quit for PSG in 2017. "We don't talk about players from other teams. We respect PSG. We have a great squad, great players and we're trying to win everything. We also have the best player in the world in Messi, so we are guaranteed many years of good football."