Sergio Aguero appears to be in contention to make his official Barcelona debut at the weekend after netting in a training ground friendly on Wednesday morning.
The 33-year-old joined the Catalan giants on a free transfer after bringing a decade-long stay at Premier League champions Manchester City to an end in the summer.
But the Argentina striker only returned to training earlier this week following a right calf injury suffered in a pre-season session in August, just a week before the start of Barcelona’s LaLiga campaign.
And having taken part in training on Tuesday, Aguero took another step towards making his official Barcelona bow by playing and scoring against third-tier side UE Cornella in a behind-closed-doors friendly.
It is unclear if Aguero came through the match – which also included Spain internationals Sergio Busquets, Sergi Roberto, Eric Garcia and Gavi – unscathed, although there was no report of any niggle from the club’s Twitter account.
And if confirmed, the former Atletico Madrid striker could well play some part in Sunday’s home match against Valencia.
But failing that, Aguero could still make a timely return in time for El Clasico on October 24 at the Nou Camp, where the club will hope to pull themselves back into the title race when they take on current league leaders and bitter rivals Real Madrid.
The Catalan side are looking to kick-start their campaign this weekend however against Jose Bordalas’ men after winning one of their last six games in all competitions, and failing to score in four of them.
Valencia sit one place above 9th-place Barcelona in the table on the same number of points as Ronald Koeman’s men.
However, Barcelona have played one game fewer than Sunday’s opponents after their match against fourth-place Sevilla last month was postponed following a complaint from both clubs about the unavailability of their South American stars following the international break.
Koeman’s men also face a home Champions League tie against Dynamo Kyiv sandwiched in between their Spanish top-flight matches against Valencia and Real Madrid.
And despite their atrocious start to the season, Barcelona sit just five points behind Carlo Ancelotti’s league leaders with a game in hand following Los Blancos’ defeat against another Catalan side Espanyol before the international break.