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Ronald Koeman admits disagreement with Barcelona board over January transfer


Ronald Koeman has publicly highlighted the Barcelona board’s failure to fund a bid for a defender in the January transfer window.

Barca were close to completing a deal for their long-term target Eric Garcia, but failed to meet Manchester City’s £2.65million price tag.

As such, the cash-strapped Catalan giants will be forced to wait until this summer to sign the 20-year-old, who will then be a free agent.

Barcelona have been hit hard by defensive injuries, with long-serving duo Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti missing swathes of the season.

But Koeman claims his plea for a new centre-back fell on deaf ears.



Koeman admits his side "have not reinforced what we needed"
Koeman admits his side “have not reinforced what we needed”

“I told the club that we needed a signing, but I respect any decision,” the Barcelona boss told reporters.

“I do not speak after the past. I was talking to them for a moment, but I respect the decision of the club, because of the economic issue. We continue with what we have.

“But, with the casualties and the bad luck of our injuries, we lack defenders, we lack forcefulness, we have not reinforced what we needed.



Barca will need to wait until this summer to sign Garcia
Barca will need to wait until this summer to sign Garcia

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“Due to injuries we have lowered our performance in defence.”

With Pique missing since November, Koeman has partnered Clement Lenglet with 21-year-old Ronald Araujo at centre-back.

But Araujo succumbed to an injury of his own on Wednesday and is facing a spell on the sidelines with a sprained ankle.

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“Ronald Araujo? He is injured,” said Koeman. “If there is a moment that he can be fit, we talk and we decide.



The Catalans have been left light in defence since Pique's knee injury in November
The Catalans have been left light in defence since Pique’s knee injury in November



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“But it is always important to know the risk for any player. Tomorrow he will not play and we will see on Monday and Tuesday.

Koeman confirmed last month it is only a matter of time before Garcia arrives at Camp Nou, saying: “We already know he will probably arrive in the summer.”

Meanwhile, Barcelona are in the midst of a financial crisis with their debts totalling over £1billion, a substantial chunk of which must be paid back this summer.

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