The French forward, who cost 105 million euros ($126 million) from Borussia Dortmund

Dembele fitness boost for Barca

Madrid, Jan4: FC Barcelona have received a boost with the news that the Spanish football club’s record signing Ousmane Dembele is officially fit to return to action.

The French forward, who cost 105 million euros ($126 million) from Borussia Dortmund this summer, suffered an injury to his right thigh while playing against Getafe on September 16 and has needed three and a half months to recover, reports Xinhua news agency.

The Barcelona website confirmed on Tuesday that he is now officially able to return to action and it is likely that he will be included in the Barca squad for the first leg of their King’s Cup tie away to Celta Vigo on Thursday night.

It will be interesting to see how Barca boss, Ernesto Valverde adopts his system to the young forward’s return as he had swapped his formation from a 4-3-3 to a 4-4-2 with Brazilian midfielder Paulinho given an advanced role, which has worked well in recent months.

Only on Monday Valverde had spoken of Dembele’s qualities, saying he was “different to anything we have.”

“He is able to play in various positions and is very fast,” added the Barca boss.

Rafinha is also close to a return after missing all of the season with an ankle injury, giving Valverde further options in what is a hectic schedule for his club during the first three months of 2018.

Finally reports in the Spanish and UK press imply that Barcelona may also be closing in on a deal to sign Liverpool’s attacking midfielder Phillipe Coutinho, although it is not sure whether or not the player would move to Spain in January or in the summer.

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