Barcelona coach Quique Setien is on the hunt for a new no. 9 as the inevitable departure of the only no. 9 currently on the squad Luis Suarez turns 33 in a few days.
The latest injuries to Luis Suarez has reignited the concern surrounding the Barcelona front trio for many years now, which is the lack of a proper no. 9. Antoine Greizmann, Lionel Messi, Ansu Fati and Carles Perez are all the players available but unfortunately, none can properly replace the role of the Uruguayan international.
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As such, according to AS, Barca’s Setien, Eric Abidal and Ramon Planes scheduled a meeting on Monday to discuss this dilemma. The current obsession surrounding Lautaro Martinez could prove to be an issue for the Catalans as they cannot sign the Argentine in January and they are in immediate need of a proper striker who can play as a substitute to the aging Suarez and eventually take over the role after his departure.
Now they face the dilemma of signing an immediate top-level solution and delay any plans for Lautaro or sign a temporary replacement as they did with Kevin Prince Boateng, which did not work well for the Spanish giants.
As a result of the meeting held on Monday to decide on the future of the club and review the transfer policy since Quique Setien is now officially the new Coach, many potential candidates have emerged as an immediate solution to the number 9 issue.
Timo Werner (Age: 23 | Transfer Value: €75 Million | RB Leipzig)
The only candidate on the list to be capable of being a long term replacement to this problem is RB Leipzig striker, Timo Werner. Sport reports that Werner is the most preferred target for the Catalans as he is reputed to soon be the top scorer in Bundesliga, beating even Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski, who is currently tied at 20 goals. The report claims that the Spanish champions are looking to secure the 23-year-old for a €30 Million bargain given his current form.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Age: 30 | Transfer Value: €70 Million | Arsenal)
A candidate who is a favorite for Suarez’s replacement is the Arsenal captain: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. According to Mundo Deportivo, the Gabon international is at the top of the list for Barca. While the player is bound by contract until 2021, he is very keen on making the move happen and is doing everything possible to transfer. Sources close to the player including Samuel Umtiti and Ousman Dembele reveal that the player wants to make the move in order to play Champions League football which he currently is unable to do at Emirates.
Rodrigo Moreno (Age: 28 | Transfer Value: €50 Million | Valencia)
Another candidate that has caught Barca’s eyes is Rodrigo. The Brazilian born Spaniard has a style that could very well suit the Blaugrana too. His trait of being physically stronger than Aubameyang also gives him an upper hand over the Gabonese striker. The 28-year-old, however, has a contract that runs 1 more year than that of Aubameyang.
Olivier Giroud (Age: 33 | Transfer Value: €9 Million | Chelsea)
A cheap alternative to the players mentioned above, Olivier Giroud celebrated his 2018 World Cup along with Ousmane Dembele, Samuel Umtiti and Antoine Griezmann. His ability to link up extremely well with Greizmann could make him an ideal short-term solution to the No. 9 problem as he has immense experience under his belt.
Fernando Llorente (Age: 34 | Transfer Value: €5 Million | SSC Napoli)
The oldest player on this list, Llorente is quite familiar with La Liga, having played for both Athletic Bilbao and Sevilla for a total of 363 appearances. He recently moved to Napoli on a free transfer from Spurs, making him a cheap short-term option.
AS reports that Barca will sign a center forward in the January transfer window only if the economic parameters, set at €30 million, are met. Who would you like Barca to sign to resolve the No. 9 issue?