Barcelona rule out signing striker after failing to find Suarez cover

Luis Suarez Barcelona 2019-20
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Blaugrana chief Guillermo Amor has insisted that there will be no extra attacking reinforcements arriving at Camp Nou before the winter deadline

Barcelona have given up on trying to find cover for the injured Luis Suarez in the January transfer market, according to the club's director of institutional relations Guillermo Amor.

Suarez underwent surgery on a serious knee injury earlier this month, and is not expected to return to action until May.

Summer signing Antoine Greizmann has adopted a more central role in the Uruguayan's absence, with teenage starlet Ansu Fati also available to fill in and Ousmane Dembele close to a comeback after an extended spell on the sidelines.

However, Suarez is the only natural centre-forward on Barca's books at the moment, with Lionel Messi still shouldering the main goalscoring burden for the Spanish champions.

New boss Quique Setien had been tipped to add to his squad before the winter window slams shut, with a number of top players across Europe being linked with a move to Camp Nou.

Valencia frontman Rodrigo was believed to be top of Barca's list of targets, but Goal has reported that they were unwilling to meet the 28-year-old's €60m (£51m/$66m) asking price.

The Blaugrana have also been credited with an interest in Inter's Lautaro Martinez, and Neymar continues to be touted for a return to the club after trying to manufacture a move away from Paris Saint-Germain last summer.

Camp Nou chief Amor has now confirmed that Barca have ended their search for Suarez's replacement, as he told reporters on Friday: "Closing the market tomorrow night there were no optimal options to track a good negotiation to help the team."

It had been suggested that Barca would recall Philippe Coutinho from his loan spell at Bayern Munich with a view to putting him up for sale in order to raise funds for attacking reinforcements.

A club spokesman issued a statement denying the rumours, however, with the Brazil international set to remain at Allianz Arena until the end of the current season.

Barca are in Copa del Rey action against Leganes this evening, where they will be looking to bounce back from a damaging 2-0 La Liga defeat to Valencia last weekend.

Setien will then start preparing his side for Levante's arrival at Camp Nou on Sunday, before focus shifts to a tough away fixture against Real Betis seven days later.

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