Barcelona are set to sign former Middlesbrough striker Martin Braithwaite as a replacement for Ousmane Dembele. The Catalan giants have 15 days to complete a deal during the emergency transfer window.
Despite the regular transfer window being closed, Spanish clubs are able to sign a replacement from other La Liga clubs for any player injured for longer than five months.
According to Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona set their sights on Braithwaite after La Liga granted them permission to sign a replacement for Dembele who has been ruled out for six months after undergoing surgery on a hamstring tear last week.
Braithwaite scored nine goals in 40 games for Middlesbrough in an inconsistent spell on Teeside that saw the Danish international loaned out to Bordeaux and Leganes after falling out of favour with Tony Pulis.
However, Barcelona are keen to bring the 28-year-old to the Nou Camp to add depth in attack with Dembele and Luis Suarez out until the end of the season.
Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann are currently the only senior attacking players at Quique Setien’s disposal and Dembele’s absence has prompted the club to successfully appeal to the league for permission to sign another striker.
Braithwaite joined Leganes on a permanent deal last summer and has scored eight times in 27 appearances to attract Barcelona’s attention.
The La Liga giants weighed up a move for Real Sociedad striker Willian Jose but were put off by the £30million price tag and Braithwate is now expected to sign for Barcelona but would only be available for La Liga fixtures.
Barcelona cut the gap to title rivals Real Madrid with a 2-1 victory over Getafe thanks to goals from Antoine Greizmann and Sergi Roberto.