Barcelona technical secretary Roberto Fernandez has confirmed that the club has decided against signing a new right-back to fill the gap left by the long-term injury of Aleix Vidal. Fernandez spoke to the media after the Catalans suffered a massive blow in their hopes to win La Liga title as Real Madrid took advantage of their 2-1 defeat at Deportivo La Coruña to move back to the top of the table.
La Liga allows clubs to make an emergency signing – from the Spanish tournament or a free agent – outside of the stipulated transfer windows whenever a player is ruled out for more than five months.
Luis Enrique and Fernandez claimed in recent weeks that the club was considering to seize that opportunity to sign a new right-back, after Vidal suffered a serious ankle injury during the 6-0 win over Alaves on 11 February. He was consequently ruled out of the remaining campaign.
Barcelona has since been linked with a number of players, including Deportivo's Juanfran, Eibar's Ander Capa and Malaga's Roberto Rosales.
But the club technical secretary has now ruled out making a new addition despite there being still 11 games to play.
"We're not going to make any movements in the market. We've not removed Aleix's registration and we're not going to sign anyone," Fernandez said to Bein Sport following the 2-1 defeat to Deportivo. "It was an open game. Depor were magnificent and I congratulate them, but we were also good, but lacked the success of other days. I don't want to look for excuses, a result like this has to be analysed in another way. We played well, but we also have to recognise Depor's merits."
The confirmation of Fernandez comes only days later Juanfran revealed that he had turned down an approach from the La Liga giants to move to the Nou Camp.
Barcelona is still on course to win the treble this season but will have to face the last part of the season with versatile Sergi Roberto as the only available right-back. Nevertheless, Rafinha Alcantara has also played in that role recently when Luis Enrique opted to use a 3-4-3 formation rather than the usual 4-3-3.
Meanwhile, the defeat to Deportivo on Sunday hit the club's chances to revalidate the La Liga table as Real Madrid beat Betis hours later to go top of the table, two points ahead of Barcelona and with one game in hand.
Barcelona, who have already secured a place in the Copa del Rey final with Alaves, have 11 games to turn around the situation in La Liga, including a visit to Real Madrid on 23 April which is expected to be decisive for the title.