The reason Barcelona can sign ex-Arsenal striker Lucas Perez outside of the transfer window

Barcelona are dealing with an injury crisis in attack.

After losing Luis Suarez for the remainder of the season after undergoing knee surgery last month, disaster struck again for the La Liga giants when Ousmane Dembele was ruled out for six months following an operation on a serious hamstring tear.

Those setbacks mean Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann are the only recognised forwards who are currently fit at the Camp Nou.

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Although, there are plans to bring in cover very soon.

According to reports in Spain, the names on Barcelona’s shortlist include Real Sociedad’s Willian Jose, Getafe’s Angel Rodriguez and Real Betis’ Loren Moren.

But perhaps the most surprising link is that of Lucas Perez.

The 31-year-old is currently at Alaves following a disappointing spell in England which saw him struggle at both Arsenal as well as West Ham United.

A Champions League hat-trick against Basel in the 2016/2017 was arguably the highlight of Perez’s time with the Gunners, while he did have a respectable record of six goals in 19 appearances across all competitions for the Hammers.

His form at Alaves this season has been impressive. He found the back of the net in seven successive La Liga outings during the autumn and has nine for the campaign.

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Spanish publication Sport claim whilst Lucas Perez is aware that he is not Barça’s first choice target, he is excited about the prospect of making the shock move to the Camp Nou.

In addition, the report states he is constantly asking for updates regarding a transfer.

But how can Barcelona sign a player – who is not a free agent – outside of the transfer window?

Well, as reported by ESPN, they expect to be granted permission by the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) to sign an attacker outside of the transfer window after injuries to Dembele and Suarez.

Because Dembele will be missing for more than five months, that is the minimum amount of time required in order for clubs to be allowed to make an emergency signing, although the legislation will mean they can only sign a player already registered with a club in Spain or someone who is without a club.