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Xavi explains Barcelona decision on January goalkeeper signing


Barcelona will not dip into the January transfer market for a replacement goalkeeper in the wake of Marc-Andre ter Stegen undergoing back surgery in recent days.

Ter Stegen has missed each of Barcelona’s last three games in all competitions, as well as the November international break with Germany, after experiencing pain and discomfort in his lower back. Following surgery, reports suggest he’ll be absent for around two months.

Xavi doesn’t see the need to act in the upcoming transfer window to address the short-term.

“It’s not an option to sign a goalkeeper. We’re confident with what we have. We trust Marc will recover soon,” the coach explained ahead of Sunday’s La Liga clash with susprise package Girona.

The decision for Ter Stegen to undergo surgery, which was performed at a clinic in Bordeaux, wasn’t initially taken. The back problem was being managed on a week to week basis, with the player undergoing fitness and pain assessments in the build-up to games. It was only later that the choice was made for the club’s second captain to have the operation was made.

In Ter Stegen’s absence, former Barca B stopper Inaki Pena has been given the nod. The home-grown 24-year-old was promoted to the first-team squad last season and this is his first opportunity to get a consistent run of games. He kept a clean sheet against Atletico Madrid last time out.

Coming into the season as third choice, Ander Astralaga has been bumped up the pecking order, with 17-year-old Hungarian talent Aron Yaakobishvili and American import Diego Kochen, also 17, each given an opportunity to make up numbers on the bench too.

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