MADRID: Spain's footballing authorities have given Barcelona the green light to make an emergency signing after confirming forward Ousmane Dembele will miss at least the next six months with a hamstring issue.
The France international, who joins fellow striker Luis Suarez on the sidelines, underwent surgery in Finland last week.
Barca, who allowed youngster Carles Perez to leave for AS Roma in January on loan despite Suarez being ruled out for four months, now have a 15-day period in which they can sign a replacement - despite the European transfer window being closed.
Spanish football regulations allow sides to make emergency signings if they can prove they will be left short if player is ruled out for five months or longer. La Liga's Medical Committee on Monday (feb 17) confirmed this was the case for Barca.
The rules also stipulate that any new signing must either be currently registered at a club in Spain or a free agent, however they will not be permitted to play in the Champions League.