The medical commission of La Liga may yet refuse Barcelona the option of signing a forward replacement for Ousmane Dembele.
The Catalan club have confirmed has been ruled out of action for six months with a thigh injury and they will now make a request to La Liga to sign a replacement, despite the transfer window being closed.
The rules in Spanish football allow a club to replace a long-term injured player with another from a Spanish club, should they be able to agree terms.
“There are certain type of injuries that are on the edge of being five months, which is the bracket for Dembele,” said Jordi Ardevol, member of La Liga’s medical commission to Cadena Cope.
“There must be a fully reasoned argument that this will be more than five months. The commission is not ornamental, on more than one occasion we have said no (and refused a club’s request).”
Dembele has played only three full matches for the Spanish champions this season and has had to sit out earlier in the campaign due to a separate thigh injury.
He now joins Luis Suarez on the sidelined with the Uruguayan unlikely to make a return to first-team football this season, while Carles Perez was sold to Roma last month and Abel Ruiz joined Braga.