While Luis Suarez remains a world-class striker, he isn’t getting any younger.
The Uruguayan forward turns 32 later on in January and Barcelona have to start thinking about the future.
The options behind Suarez are pretty bare. Munir El Haddadi has been told he has played his last game for the club, leaving Barca thin on ice in attack.
Ernesto Valverde would probably prefer not to deploy Lionel Messi as a false nine, while 18-year-old Barcelona B starlet Abel Ruiz still needs to develop before he can be considered for the senior squad.
So we can expect the La Liga leaders to pursue a striker in the January transfer window.
They have to decide whether to sign a cheap option who can support Suarez for the remainder of the season, or a long-term prospect with the tools of being the former Liverpool player’s eventual replacement.
The club have already been hard at work and they are keeping tabs on seven potential signings.
Barcelona's seven targets
Per AS, their list includes Ante Rebic, who enjoyed a fine World Cup with Croatia, and Ajax youngster Kasper Dolberg.
Jean-Kevin Augustin | RB Leipzig | Age: 21
The France Under-21 international is an academy graduate of Paris Saint-Germain.
He won the Golden Boot and Player of the Tournament awards at the European Under-19 Championship in 2016, and Barca’s sporting director Eric Abidal is a keen admirer.
Patrik Schick | Roma | 22
Barcelona will likely have to wait if they want to sign Schick from Roma.
The Italian club are still in the Champions League and are battling for a top four spot in Serie A; they’re unlikely to be open to selling a player who has featured in 18 matches this season.
Kasper Dolberg | Ajax | 21
The Blaugrana would probably be more invested in signing Dolberg now if they weren’t already trying to sign one of his teammates.
Barca want Frenkie de Jong and appear reluctant to frustrate Ajax by asking for Dolberg, too.
Still, he remains an extremely talented player and one that Barcelona will continue to monitor.
Krzysztof Piatek | Genoa | 19
Piatek is enjoying a superb season for Genoa, netting 19 goals in 21 appearances for the Italian outfit.
He has developed a reputation as the ‘new Lewandowski’ - and the fact that Genoa have already said they plan to cash in on Piatek in the summer won’t have gone unnoticed at the Camp Nou.
Maxi Gomez | Celta | 22
Gomez has experience in Spain’s top flight with Celta, scoring eight goals in 16 appearances this season.
But he doesn’t have a European Union passport - Gomez is Uruguayan - making it tough for Barca to sign him in January.
Their non-EU spots are already filled up by Arthur, Malcom and Arturo Vidal.
Ante Rebic | Eintracht Frankfurt | 25
Rebic showed off his pace and desire at the World Cup but this season has been a struggle for the Croatian.
He has only played in 12 Bundesliga matches for Eintracht Frankfurt, his game time hurt by the form of another player Barca have been watching.
Luka Jovic | Eintracht Frankfurt | 21
The Bosnian-born Serb has been in superb form for Eintracht, finding the net 17 times in 21 appearances.
He’s younger than Rebic and is also out of contract in the summer, making him an ideal option for the Spanish giants.
Jovic scored five for Eintracht in a 7-1 win against Dusseldorf in October.News Now - Sport News