With ongoing speculation over Samuel Umtiti’s future at Barcelona, the Catalan giants have reportedly identified a potential replacement to step in.
An argument could be made that Barca need to strengthen in that department regardless of whether or not Umtiti stays, as with an inexperienced Yerry Mina and an ageing stalwart in Thomas Vermaelen in reserve, it’s not quite the quality in depth expected at a European giant.
As noted by the Manchester Evening News, speculation continues to link Umtiti with a move away from the Nou Camp with Man Utd said to be keen, as it all results from doubts over his contract situation.
Having established a strong partnership alongside Gerard Pique to claim the second best defensive record in La Liga this season, coach Ernesto Valverde will be desperate to avoid seeing that duo broken up this summer.
According to Sport though, Barcelona are considering a contingency plan, with Sevilla defender Clement Lenglet emerging as a potential replacement with a mere €30m release clause in his contract with the La Liga outfit.
The 22-year-old only signed for Sevilla from Nancy last summer, but he has impressed domestically as well as in his side’s run to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Couple that with today’s transfer market and the huge transfer fees being paid, a youngster with experience in Spain and Europe with his whole career still ahead of him for just €30m seems an attractive proposal.
It appears as though he has done enough to attract interest from Barcelona, but it remains to be seen if Umtiti’s exit speeds up a potential move to the Nou Camp.
In an ideal world, Barca will surely want to keep their most influential players and avoid the grief of having to find replacements and splash out on new players.
However, it rarely ever is ideal and so they may be forced into a situation where Lenglet becomes a priority to fill a potentially huge void in the heart of their defence.