Written by Olaleye Oluwadamilola
Barcelona’s second captain and No 1 goalkeeper Marc ter Stegen will undergo a surgical procedure as revealed by the club this week to address the lower back issues he is experiencing which has kept him out for three consecutive games for Xavi Hernandez and he will also miss the crucial clash against Girona.
The German international who is a key member of the dressing room has played 17 games so far this season, 13 in the league, four in the Champions League, keeping eight clean sheets and conceding 15 goals. This season he has only missed the league games against Rayo and Atlético and the game at home to Porto in the Champions League.
The 31-year-old withdrew from the Germany squad during the last international break due to the problem after he has been ruled out since November 12 but in his place, Barcelona have opted to play 24-year-old Inaki Pena who has helped the under-pressure side secure victories against Porto and Atletico Madrid and a draw against Rayo Vallecano.
“The break obviously annoys me. It is the right and safe decision in order to come back in the best conditions for my club Barcelona and national team Germany,” Ter Stegen wrote on his Instagram.
While uncertainty remains over when he will be back, according to Fabrizio Romano, the goalkeeper will be ruled out for the remainder of 2023 although the club has promised updates as the issue develops.
Reports have emerged of Bayern Munich taking an interest in signing Barcelona’s Ronald Araujo however, the Catalan giant have issued a stern hands-off approach to the Bavarian outfit as they have no intention of allowing the Uruguayan international to leave the club.
Thomas Tuchel’s side currently have big issues at centre-back with Kim Min-Jae and Matthijs de Ligt both injured, it has left Dayot Upamecano as the club’s only fit senior central defender in big blow to thier title defence.
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Araujo isn’t the only Barcelona defender on Bayern’s radar as Bild (via Sport) reported that Clement Lenglet who is on loan at Aston Villa has emerged as a target for the German champions although it’s unclear at this stage whether they would want a loan or permanent deal
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