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Barcelona president talks Araujo, Lewandowski ban, January window, Fair Play

Speaking to the media at a recent public appearance, Barcelona president Joan Laporta has provided an update on the club’s salary cap situation for the next summer while also discussing the situations of Ronald Araujo and Robert Lewandowski.

Araujo has been in the headlines of late as there have been growing tensions between Uruguay and Barcelona over the defender’s recovery. The Catalans suspect that the South American nation are rushing his recovery to get him back on the pitch in the World Cup.

While the two parties continue to discuss the situation, there had been suggestions that Araujo could feature for Uruguay in their final group game against Ghana, having recently resumed training with the ball.

However, Laporta has shot down such a possibility, stating that the 23-year-old defender will not be involved in that game. “Araujo will not play against Ghana,” the Barcelona president confirmed (h/t Que T’hi Jugues).

When asked if he was concerned about the defender’s situation, Laporta replied (h/t Victor Navarro): “A lot. What we want is not to force the player to relapse. He’s training… I hope Araujo’s health will prevail.”

Moving on, Laporta also discussed the three-match ban that was handed to Robert Lewandowski following his sending-off in the game against CA Osasuna.

While Barcelona have already confirmed that they will appeal the decision, Laporta hit out at the verdict, slamming it as nonsensical.

“It doesn’t make any sense. They have banned him for three games, at most it should be one. We are very upset,” he said.

Laporta also shed some light on the club’s plans for the upcoming January window, stating that there is no immediate need to strengthen the squad.

However, he also confirmed that Barcelona will be under the 1/4 Fair Play rule come summer, moving from the current 1/1 rule.

“We strengthen ourselves in summer, in principle we don’t have to do anything in January,” Laporta said.

“We are at 1/1 but in summer we will go back to 1/4. If we had to sign, it would be convenient to do it in winter, but we have a good team,” he added.

So, even though Laporta said that the team does not strengthening at this moment, the Barcelona president is not ruling the possibility of making signings in January as they would still be operating under the 1/1 rule.

A new right-back is said to be at the top of the agenda, while Barça are also on the lookout for reinforcements in midfield, especially a long-term replacement for captain Sergio Busquets. Whether they sign anyone remains to be seen, however.

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