Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal ready to make Barcelona debuts

Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal ready to make Barcelona debuts
Arda Turan.

Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal could make their Barcelona debuts in this week’s Copa del Rey clash with Espanyol after being cleared to play for the Spanish champions six months after joining the club.

Arda and Vidal were signed from Atletico Madrid and Sevilla respectively last summer for a combined fee of £37million but because of a FIFA transfer ban imposed on Barca for breaching rules over the signings of under-age players neither have been able to play yet.

The Catalan club confirmed on Monday that the duo, who have been training regularly with their team-mates, are now officially Barcelona players and have been given their squad numbers.

Turkey midfielder Arda, 28, inherits the number seven shirt previously worn by Pedro, who joined Chelsea last summer, while 26-year-old Spain wing-back Vidal will wear the number 22 that Dani Alves had before.

The two newcomers could now feature in Wednesday’s Copa del Rey last-16 first leg with local rivals Espanyol at the Nou Camp.

Vidal told Barcelona TV: "Right now I'm not thinking about the sixth (Espanyol game) because to be honest I don't know when I'm going to play, when I'll get my first minutes.

“The coach knows that we’ve spent the last six months training, working hard, to contribute to the team and be in peak condition for whenever we’re needed. Now we’re in his hands.”

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