If no money, no Nolito!
Barcelona attempted to seal a loan deal for the striker but Celta Vigo held firm and Luis Enrique will now have to wait until the summer to bring in a forward
If you go the market without any cash, you'll probably return home much as you left: empty-handed. And that is what happened to Barcelona in the month of January.
Barca tried everything to sign Nolito from Celta Vigo in the winter window, but the Galician club stood firm: either the Catalans paid €18 million to activate their striker's release clause, or there would be no deal. At least until the summer.
And while there were no new signings for Barca, no players left Camp Nou either - even though Sandro and Munir El Haddadi are not part of Luis Enrique's long-term plans. Barca are looking to transfer both players, but not on a temporary basisfter they were unable to bring in Nolito or Denis Suarez. The latter, however, is set to return to Camp Nou from Villarreal next summer.
There were no changes in defence either. Signing a centre-back is priority and Barca's sporting director Robert Fernandez has identified Marquinhos, Aymeric Laporte and John Stones as possible summer signings. None will come cheap, however, and the priority in January was a striker in any case.
With no defenders brought in, Marca Bartra is still at the club. The Catalan centre-back has hardly featured this season, even after Barca told him not to listen to offers last summer. That could change in July, while Adriano and Douglas may also leave Camp Nou after a lack of opportunities in the current campaign.
Luis Enrique, in any case, is relaxed as Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal are both able to feature after sitting out six months due to the transfer ban. Their presence gives new possibilities to the coach, who can use both in a number of different positions.
With Nolito, the funds were unavailable without infringing Financial Fair Play regulations, so Luis Enrique will work with what he has until the end of the season. There was no Father Christmas in the end for Barcelona, but the Blaugrana remain the team to beat in the second half of the season.