Barcelona are not planning
to dip into the January transfer market to find a replacement
for David Villa or their other long-term injury casualty Ibrahim
Afellay and will promote youth players instead, a club
vice-president has said.
Spain forward Villa fractured the tibia in his left leg in
Thursday's Club World Cup semi-final in Japan and will be
sidelined for up to five months. Netherlands midfielder Afellay
had knee surgery in October and is targeting a return around the
beginning of April.
"We have discussed it with [sporting director Andoni]
Zubizarreta and the coaching staff and the squad is closed,"
Barca vice-president Josep Bartomeu told Spanish radio.
"Although Villa and Afellay are injured we have a sporting
philosophy that tells us we have to fall back on the youth
team," he added.
"The players from the academy, when they have played, have
given really great results."
Villa arrived back in Barcelona on Friday and after a series
of tests it was decided to perform an operation on the fractured
leg on Monday, Barca said on their website.
Surgeons were planning to brief the media after the
procedure, the club added.
The 30-year-old Villa has said he intends to return in time
to play for Barca in May's Champions League final, should the
holders qualify, and for Spain in the European Championship
starting in June.
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