Valverde confirms Barcelona ‘have space’ for new striker amid Morata rumours

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The sale of Munir El Haddadi to Sevilla has freed up a spot in the squad of the La Liga leaders which the manager is eager to fill

Amid rumours of interest in Alvaro Morata, Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde admitted there is room in his squad for a new striker.

On Friday, the La Liga leaders agreed a €1 million fee with Sevilla for Munir El Haddadi, who was set to depart the club at the end of the season when his contract expired.

Instead, Munir will leave in January, opening up a spot in the Barcelona team.

With a strong forward line, there wasn’t a lot of gametime available for Munir, who made one start for Barca this season, along with six substitute appearances.

However, the publication Sport reported the club had joined the hunt for out-of-favour Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata.

And while Valverde did not comment on those rumours, he did admit the team will be looking to add to their strike force, if not from outside the club, then from within.

“There's space [for a new striker] with Munir leaving,” Valverde said. “The window's open and we'll see if we can bring someone in. If not, we will look to the B team.”

Morata has come in for frequent criticism the last two seasons, though he has scored nine goals for Chelsea in all competitions this season.

A midweek defeat to Levante in the Copa del Rey round of 16 arguably showed Barca’s need for depth in their forward line.

The La Liga champions struggled in a 2-1 defeat away, as Valverde elected to rest several of his starters, including Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, though they have a second leg at Camp Nou to overturn the deficit.

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Barca’s only goal came from the penalty spot from Philippe Coutinho, and was won by Denis Suarez, who is expected to join Arsenal during the January window.

Valverde is likely to restore his starters as his Barca side host 13th placed Eibar on Sunday.

They will be aiming to maintain or extend the five point lead at the top of the table held coming at the start of the weekend.

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