Barcelona turn to Willian Jose after Ousmane Dembele surgery
Spanish Football Federation and La Liga grant Barcelona permission to sign emergency replacement for Ousmane Dembele outside of transfer window
Last Updated: 12/02/20 6:20pm
Real Sociedad striker Willian Jose tops Barcelona's wishlist after they were granted permission from Spanish authorities to sign a replacement for Ousmane Dembele.
The Brazilian forward was linked with moves to both Tottenham and Manchester United last month and missed three games for Sociedad in January after asking to be left out as speculation mounted over his future.
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Dembele, who has not played for Barcelona since November, has been ruled out for the remainder of the season after aggravating a hamstring injury in training and undergoing surgery in Finland to cure the problem.
Barcelona made an application under Spanish regulations to sign a replacement for Dembele.
The rules state they can bring someone in from another domestic club as cover if a player suffers an injury and faces an absence period of over four months.
Barca needed ratification to sign a replacement from both the Spanish Football Federation and La Liga and that has since been granted, paving the way for a potential move for Jose.
Jose has scored 53 goals in 132 appearances for Sociedad after joining the club from Uruguayan club Deportivo Maldonado.
According to the league regulations, Barcelona will need to complete any deal to bring in a replacement for Dembele in the next 15 days.
Sociedad coach: Put €70m on the table
Asked about Barcelona's interest in Jose ahead of his side's Copa del Rey semi-final against Mirandes on Thursday, Real Sociedad manager Imanol Alguacil admitted he is getting increasingly frustrated by the transfer saga.
"If they put the 70 million euros on the table then fine, there's nothing left to say," Imanol said in reference to the Brazilian's buy-out clause.
"The whole thing about Willian Jose is starting to get a bit much.
"He's our player and he wants to continue to be our player. I don't know how long for but as far as I understand it he'll be with us until the end of the season."