Catalans are in urgent need of reinforcements at the back this summer.
New FC Barcelona head coach Gerardo Martino has asked the Spanish champions to sign one of five possible Premier League defenders for next season, according to reports in the Daily Mail.
The Paraguayan, who was only officially unveiled in his new role at Camp Nou on Friday following the sudden departure of cancer-stricken previous manager Tito Vilanova, recognises that the Liga giants are badly in need of defensive reinforcements in Catalonia for the upcoming campaign.
In the previous season, despite Barca regaining their Liga crown from arch-rivals Real Madrid, the Spaniards were still bedeviled by issues at the back following yet more injury problems to first-choice centre-backs Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique.
As a result, the recently appointed Barcelona trainer has handed over a list of potential central-defensive targets for sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta to go after in the summer transfer window, which include Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany, Chelsea’s David Luiz, Liverpool’s Daniel Agger, Arsenal skipper Thomas Vermaelen and Tottenham Hotspur’s Jan Vertonghen.
And Martino wants one of those players to be signed by the Catalans before the transfer window slams shut once and for all for the year on Sept 2.
However, of the five potential targets, Barcelona perhaps have the best chance of signing either the Reds’ Denmark international or the Gunners’ own captain Vermaelen for next season.