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Who should Barcelona sign before the close of the January transfer window?

Just a few days left...

Fortuna Sittard v Ajax - Dutch Eredivisie Photo by Broer van den Boom/BSR Agency/Getty Images

Just a few days left of the January transfer window now, and we’re down to the nitty-gritty. The Barca equivalent of squeaky bum time.

Still plenty of time left to do some decent business, but that’s the only reason any transfer business should be being done for Barca - if it’s decent.

The financial situation precludes them from doing anything else, so if the right player isn’t available at the right price, the deals don’t get done.

Period.

With Ansu being ruled out conservatively again for a couple of months, a striker would appear to be a priority, which seems a little odd when you have the likes of Luuk de Jong and Martin Braithwaite in situ and no desire to move them on.

Neither are really what might be termed ‘Barca’ players, though arguably both are hard-working and can be relied upon to give of their best - their lack of quality notwithstanding.

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Rumours linking the club with Alvaro Morata aren’t without foundation, and the player clearly wants to join, however, there’s a long way to go in the deal and the question has to be asked as to whether, in fact, he would be a better option than either Braithwaite or De Jong in the short term.

After all, he too isn’t really what could be termed as a ‘killer,’ and doesn’t score enough goals to necessarily justify a purchase at this particular point in time.

The case of Nicolás Tagliafico is a different one entirely.

He too wants to join the Blaugranes and there’s a good case to be made as to why the club should go all out to make it happen.

Simply put, Jordi Alba needs to be put under consistent pressure now.

He’s had years of no real challenge to his starting position and now that the standard of his performances are beginning to wane, that has to be addressed.

Deportivo Alaves v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Tagliafico has the experience to not be overawed by playing for the club, and the skill set to ensure that Alba won’t be an automatic choice in future.

And then there’s Adama Traore who is once again being linked with a return to Barcelona. The winger is thought to be keen to head back to the Camp Nou, and a loan deal with a purchase option of €35 million is being mooted.

Adama come through the ranks at Barca and made his debut in 2013 but had departed for Aston Villa in 2015 after just four appearances. Will he be able to make an impact at the club second time around if he does return?

If Xavi and Laporta genuinely want to put Barca back to where they need to be, then strength in depth in every position is a must.

Franck Kessie would certainly provide that too in the middle of the park, though it would be at least the summer before the AC Milan star joined the club, if indeed he came at all.

This window and the next one will be a decent barometer of where Barca are at in terms of their requirements, with perhaps this one being the more important because of the absolute need to qualify for the Champions League.

Then, and only then, will we see if the club are in good enough shape to get the likes of Haaland and De Ligt et al on board.