- Barcelona will have to move for a defender in the January transfer window
- Umtiti injury and possible Mascherano exit will leave them very short
- Reports claim Messi and Valverde agreed on either Laporte or Martinez
- READ MORE: Barcelona reach Philippe Coutinho transfer agreement after re-opening talks over Liverpool star this week
It seems Lionel Messi’s approval is key these days to Barcelona’s transfer work, with reports claiming he wants Aymeric Laporte at the club in January.
The Argentine icon has enjoyed a sensational career with the Catalan giants, scoring a staggering 525 goals in 606 appearances for the senior side, which has led to countless major honours and individual accolades.
In turn, perhaps he has earned the right to be involved in transfer strategies and discussions, with the 30-year-old undoubtedly wanting to know how Barcelona intend on remaining competitive on various fronts heading into the latter stages of his career.
According to Diario Gol, as re-reported by The Express, Messi has intimated to the Barca hierarchy that they need to move in January to address their defensive problem, and has picked Athletic Bilbao’s Aymeric Laporte as the ideal solution.
Further, it’s added that Real Sociedad defender Inigo Martinez is also a player he likes, and he’s in agreement with coach Ernesto Valverde that either of the two would be a great signing in the New Year.
Whoever it is that they eventually do decide on, it will be absolutely crucial to Barcelona’s hopes of continuing to compete on various fronts this season.
With Samuel Umtiti now out injured with a hamstring problem that is expected to keep him sidelined for many weeks still, coupled with the report noting that Javier Mascherano is most likely China bound in January, there is a real lack of quality and depth at the back with Gerard Pique and Thomas Vermaelen left as the only options.
In turn, a signing is vitally important next month for Barca, but they have to get it right and with Valverde knowing exactly what Laporte can offer given he coached him at Bilbao prior to moving to the Nou Camp, perhaps the Frenchman has the edge in the stakes for now.