The Blaugrana tried – and failed – to land a centre-forward this month, but head coach Quique Setién isn’t worried. Barca manager Guillermo Amor confirmed before Thursday’s 5-0 Copa del Rey last-16 victory over Leganes that no back-up to Luis Suarez, who has been ruled out and won’t return before May with a knee injury, will be signed, together with negotiations for Valencia attacker Rodrigo Moreno having broken down.
Lionel Messi scored twice and was involved in another three goals as Setien’s side enjoyed serene progress to the quarter-finals, with Antoine Griezmann, Clement Lenglet and Arthur also hitting the goal.
Setien acknowledged the absence of a new signing leaves Barca’s attack in a precarious position, though Dembele has been eased back into full training because the weekend was sidelined since November with a thigh injury.
Asked about the lack of a signing, Setien said: “I’m calm. There is a risk of injury and it can’t be controlled. I’m used to working with what I have.
“It was not to be. The market did not give us anything, however, we’ll also recover Dembele.
“He is a player with specific attributes and I think he can give us a lot. He feels comfortable out broad and we’ll try to benefit from that.
“I’m sure he’ll give us a lot with the potential he has and will demonstrate the wonderful player he is. Dembele will be amazing.”
Barca’s victory over Leganes saw them emphatically bounce back from the initial defeat of Setien’s tenure, a 2-0 loss to Valencia on Saturday that saw them fall three points behind Real Madrid in LaLiga’s title race.
“We did very well in the first 20 to 25 minutes. It’s true they might have hurt us, but we did many things well. However, I’m not entirely happy,” Setien said of Thursday’s display.
“We scored but we lost control of the game and gave them a lot of life when we needed to control the game.”