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Lichtsteiner, Cancelo and Srna in wait as Aleix Vidal faces final test


Barcelona's worst fears have been realized. Sergi Roberto is doubtful for the Liga clash against Deportivo La Coruna and that means Luis Enrique will have to turn to Aleix Vidal. But the Catalan club continues to look at other options to strengthen the right back role in the near future.

The Barca boss has said many times that he is "happy with all of the players," but Vidal has now been left out of the final matchday squad six times in a row. And as the Asturian also said recently, "My actions speak for themselves."

They do and it is evident that Vidal is not really in his plans, which represents quite the decline for a player who was signed just last year as a long-term replacement for Dani Alves. Now, his days at Camp Nou appear numbered — and Saturday's game against Deportivo may be his last chance to impress.

In the meantime, Barca is looking elsewhere, with a view to signing another right back in January — and there are three options for the Blaugrana that could all play in the Champions League if necessary: Juventus' Stephan Lichtsteiner, Darijo Srna of Shakhtar Donetsk and Valencia's Joao Cancelo.

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The first two are veterans. The Swiss defender will turn 33 in January and has not been included in the Juve squad for the Champions League. Out of contract at the end of the season, he represents the most economic option, with the Vecchia Signora likely to be open to accepting a low offer. But he has been pushed out at Juve by a player who was at Barca last season, Alves, and his signing would be merely a short-term solution.

The same thing can be said of Srna. The former Croatia captain is 34 and reaching the end of his career. He has spent the past 13 years at Shakhtar and the Ukrainian club would be prepared to let him leave because of his excellent service for the club. While he remains a quality player, he surely cannot perform at the highest level for too much longer.

Both of those players would allow Barca to plug a gap until next summer. And while it is well known that the Catalans would like to bring back their former youth player Hector Bellerin, signing the Arsenal defender would prove both complicated and costly at this stage.

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Vice president Jordi Mestre has spoken in glowing terms of the 21-year-old and cited the youngster's positive experience away from home (comparing the experience with those of Gerard Pique and Cesc Fabregas). Nevertheless, the Spanish international says he is happy for now in North London — and a deal in the summer seems unlikely.

There is an alternative, though, and that man is Cancelo. Barca boasts a strong relationship with Valencia, having signed Andre Gomes and Paco Alcacer from the Mestalla club in the summer, as Munir El Haddadi moved in the other direction on loan. The Portuguese defender fits the profile Barca is looking for, in that he is young (only 22), and comfortable both in attack and defense.

For its part, Valencia has let it be known the club has turned down bids of 30 million euros ($33M) for the European champion, whose release clause is set at 50 million euros ($55M).