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Barcelona considering January transfers after Rafinha injury - Ernesto Valverde

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Barcelona could turn to the transfer market in January after losing midfielder Rafinha to injury for the rest of the season, according to manager Ernesto Valverde.

Rafinha, 25, injured the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee against Atletico Madrid on Saturday and will undergo surgery next week.

The Brazil international has made eight appearances so far this season and featured regularly when Lionel Messi was injured recently, starting the wins over Inter Milan and Real Madrid at Camp Nou.

"It's something we have to analyse," Valverde said when asked if the club would look to sign a replacement for Rafinha in January. "The injury came as a surprise, because of how it happened. He was able to finish the game against Atletico, then on Sunday [we find out the extent of the problem].

"We will have to look at everything. The January transfer window is close, so we will have to look at the circumstances and see what we do."

Barca's desire to sign a new midfielder precedes the injury to Rafinha. Sources have confirmed to ESPN FC that Paris Saint-Germain's Adrien Rabiot and Ajax's Frenkie de Jong are both being considered, while Manchester United's Paul Pogba has split opinion at the club.

However, there are plenty of midfielders already at the club -- in the first team and the B team -- who could benefit from Rafinha's spell on the sidelines.

Valverde suggested Carles Alena and Denis Suarez could now get more game time, while also name-checking Barca B players Riqui Puig, Alex Collado, Monchu and Oriol Busquets.

Alena, Denis and Puig are all part of the squad which travelled to Eindhoven on Tuesday for Barca's Champions League game against Dutch champions PSV Eindhoven.

Barca have already qualified for the round of 16 of the competition but Valverde said they will still be going all out for the win in a bid to tie up top spot in the group with one game left.

"We are in the Champions League and our idea is to win the group," the coach said. "Our intention is to win. We know the difference between first and second. We don't want to speculate, there won't be any experiments."

Barca are missing half a dozen players through injury for the game. As well as Rafinha, Luis Suarez, Sergi Roberto, Arthur Melo, Jasper Cillessen and Thomas Vermaelen are also absent.

Valverde blamed the recent spate of injuries on players' international commitments, but preferred to focus on the players he does have at his disposal this week.

One of those is Ousmane Dembele, who will not leave the club in January according to ESPN FC sources. The French forward came off the bench to score a late equaliser against Atletico at the weekend and Valverde explained why it's not always a bad thing if he doesn't start games.

"Dembele's a player who's been playing regularly this season, be that from the start or coming on as a substitute, he has that quality," he said.

"If he starts, he can unbalance teams. When he comes off the bench, he can always change a game. It's something I value a lot. In football, it's not really valued but it's important to have players that can change the dynamic of a game and not everyone has that quality."