Barcelona could hijack move for defensive target to solve problem area

Barcelona arguably have an issue in defence with a lack of depth, and reports in Italy claim that they have a target in mind to solve that problem.

Having impressed since moving to Lazio, which also involved having to overcome a serious injury, Stefan de Vrij has established himself as a key figure in the backline for Simone Inzaghi’s side.

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However, his contract expires this summer and he’s been tipped to move on for free with no renewal in sight. As per Calciomercato, via the paper edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport, it’s suggested that Inter have been leading the way to sign him.

That could now change though, as it’s added in the report that problems may have arisen between the two parties, which in turn could open the door for Barcelona to hijack the move and sign the 26-year-old instead.

On paper, there is an argument to be made that the Catalan giants don’t need to sign a defender. They’ve conceded just 13 goals in 29 La Liga games so far this season, giving them the best defensive record in the league.

However, beyond first-choice pairing Samuel Umtiti and Gerard Pique, they don’t have a great deal of reliable cover. Yerry Mina was signed in January and still lacks experience at the top level, while Thomas Vermaelen turns 33 later this year and has struggled with injuries.

To his credit, the Belgian stalwart impressed when stepping in for Umtiti while the Frenchman was out injured himself earlier this season, but for a club looking to compete on various fronts moving forward, they may well need more.

That in turn makes the free transfer signing of De Vrij all the more appealing, but it remains to be seen whether or not his touted move to Inter falls through or not as they continue to battle for Champions League qualification this season.

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