Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez working under key assumption for January market

Barcelona’s struggles with the salary limit have weighed heavy on the club over the last two seasons and are set to do so again for the coming period.

Although there are key holes in the squad – Xavi Hernandez has shown that he is not entirely convinced by either Hector Bellerin or Sergi Roberto at right-back – strengthening seems a tricky task this winter. Running parallel to that is the desire to find a long-term replacement for Sergio Busquets, should he decide to leave the club at the end of his contract this summer.

President Joan Laporta and Sporting Director have admitted that it will be difficult for Barcelona to make additions this winter. According to Santi Ovalle of Cadena SER, Xavi is working under the assumption that there will be no additions before the end of the season.

It does at least give Xavi some clarity, but does not solve his right-back issue. Alejandro Balde filled in on the right at times just before the World Cup break and Jules Kounde did the same before his injury.

Neither are ideal solutions though. Bellerin has played just five times this season, while Sergi Roberto has been good in spells, if defensively vulnerable against top opposition. Perhaps the mostly likely situation when all of his defenders are fit is that he uses one of Ronald Araujo or Kounde there only against opposition where there are major concerns about their attacking threat.

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