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Barcelona ask FIFA for permission to play Arda Turan before January


Atletico Madrid midfielder Arda Turan

Atletico Madrid midfielder Arda Turan

Atletico Madrid midfielder Arda Turan

Barcelona ask FIFA for permission to Barcelona have asked the Spanish federation and soccer's ruling body FIFA to allow them to play Turkish midfielder Arda Turan due to Rafinha's long-term knee injury.

Turan was recruited in the close season from Atletico Madrid, as was Aleix Vidal of Sevilla, with the understanding the pair would not be available until January due to the transfer ban handed to Barca because they illegally signed under-age players.

Rules stipulate that in emergency cases such as injury, players can be replaced outside the normal transfer windows.

"The club has contacted the Spanish federation and FIFA to ask whether they can replace Rafinha," a Barca spokesman told Reuters.

"Looking into the regulations it seems as though it is possible to register him as the two transfer windows are now passed."

Although Barca have started well, they meet Celta Vigo on Wednesday having won their four previous La Liga matches, they have struggled with injuries.

That led to youth players Sandro Ramirez and Munir El Haddadi starting in the win over Levante on Sunday.

Coach Luis Enrique remains relaxed about the situation.

"I don't see this as critical," he told a news conference. "It is perfectly normal after the ban and also Pedro went (to Chelsea).

"It is typical of the types of situations that happen at Barca which is a special club. The ban has passed, those that play are motivated, those who do not perhaps less so but there is still a competitive atmosphere."

Luis Enrique added that Turan and Vidal had settled in well.

"They are training well and are motivated. It is a difficult situation for them because they have to complete a ban that had nothing to do with them," he said.

"We are trying to keep them positive and it isn't long until January."