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Jesus Navas amongst shortlist to replace Pedro at Barcelona

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Barcelona will look to strengthen their attacking options in January following the departure of fan favourite Pedro to Chelsea earlier on in the summer.

The Catalan club are currently banned from signing any new players until the start of the new year but, despite having signed Arda Turan, have already identified four possible replacements for the Spaniard, according to the Daily Mail

However, their new signing will have to accept, much like Pedro did, that they will be not guaranteed a starting place, and will only play if Lionel Messi, Neymar or Luis Suarez are unable to do so.

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Pedro struggled to accept that and sought more playing time, especially with Euro 2016 coming up in the summer and places within Spain's talented side difficult enough to come by as it is.

So, here are the four options Barcelona have identified in January:

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Jesus Navas

With Manchester City splashing the cash on Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne this summer, Navas may find his playing time at the Ethiad severely reduced. 

The Spaniard will have a tough decision to make whether to try and force his way into Manuel Pellegrini's plans, or look for a new challenge at the Nou Camp.

The Spain international has never really become an integral part of the team whilst at City, and a return to his homeland could be tempting. 

Navas offers real pace and great crossing ability, yet is not a player who likes to drift inside which Barcelona like their wide players to do. 

The winger generally likes to stay wide and offers very little when inside of the box, and although he might share the same directness as the departed Pedro, he lacks the incisiveness that made the new Chelsea signing such an asset during his time at the Nou Camp. 

Nolito

Perhaps a more natural fit for Barcelona and a move that would undoubtedly be very appealing to the player himself.

Nolito created more chances than any other player in La Liga last season and has contributed 27 goals over the past two seasons. 

The forward's creativity and ability to find the net will suit Barcelona's playing style, and despite having already plied his trade at the Nou Camp before a move to Benfica in 2011 will boast greater experience now than he did then.

At 28-years-old, though, Nolito proves to be a short-term option, but his previous relationship with Luis Enrique at Celta Vigo and experience in La Liga suggests that he could be the ideal fit.

Carlos Vela

Former Arsenal forward Vela has endured a topsy-turvy time since joining Real Sociedad from the Gunners in 2011. 

The Mexico international currently plays under former Manchester United manager David Moyes and finished as the clubs top scorer last season with nine goals. 

Vela has long been touted as a player with large potential, yet has failed to perform on a consistent basis, though under Enrique and surrounded by the likes of Messi might finally progress.

A clinical striker on his day, Vela can play either out wide or through the middle, but favours cutting in on his stronger left foot from the right, much like Messi.

Antonio Candreva

The Italian is another conventional winger, similarly to Navas, but also has the ability to play behind the striker. 

Candreva created more chances than any of his team-mates at Lazio last season and contributed ten goals in the league.

Candreva's versatility renders him an ideal replacement for Pedro, but again is unlikely to fit in with Barcelona's style of chopping and changing across the front line due to his inclining to stay out wide.

Each of the above, to an extent, would fill the void left by Pedro, though it remains to be seen whether they would be willing to sacrifice their current places in their respective teams' starting line-ups for a regular place on Enrique's bench, while it could also be argued that each would represent a downgrade from dynamic Pedro.

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Topics:
Football
La Liga
Barcelona

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