Barca open to defensive reinforcements, says Bartomeu

A new defender could arrive at Barcelona in January following Thomas Vermaelen's hamstring injury, according to Josep Maria Bartomeu.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said the club is willing to keep its eyes open for defensive reinforcements in January.   -  Getty Images

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said the LaLiga champion could sign a new defender in January amid its injury crisis.

Experienced defender Thomas Vermaelen will miss six weeks with a hamstring injury, joining World Cup-winning centre-back Samuel Umtiti on the sidelines. Umtiti could be out of action until the new year, leaving Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet as the only recognised centre-backs at Camp Nou.

Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld has emerged as a possible January target, while Barca continues to be linked with Ajax star Matthijs de Ligt.

READ | Vermaelen out for six weeks with hamstring injury

Asked about Barca's defensive issues ahead of the January window, Bartomeu said: "Well, injuries happen all of the time in football, you have to deal with it.

"These two centre-backs got injured so we are now a little thinner at this position. Even so, Gerard Pique and Lenglet are both there and ready to cover well. A new defender? Well we always have our eyes open so let's see what we will decide to do in January.

"Injuries also allow younger players to play so you have to be able to cope with it."

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