Barcelona forward Luis Suarez is reportedly aware that the club has identified a potentially crucial addition to the squad, but it could lead to a headache for one his teammates.
The Catalan giants are in a strong position this season, as they remain in the hunt for a treble with the La Liga title, Copa del Rey and the Champions League.
A key part of their success under Ernesto Valverde has been their ability to keep things tight at the back, having conceded just 13 goals in 29 league games to give them the best defensive record of any team.
However, despite that, beyond the first-choice pairing of Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti, they don’t have a great deal of quality depth with the inexperienced Yerry Mina and often-injured veteran Thomas Vermaelen on standby in reserve.
While the latter deserves credit for stepping in for the injured Umtiti earlier this season, and for doing a solid job covering for him, it’s surely not enough quality and reliability for Barcelona moving forward if they wish to compete on various fronts.
The 23-year-old has been a key figure for Luciano Spalletti, making 30 appearances in all competitions as he has showcased how effective he can be in the backline with a string of solid defensive performances.
As a result, it’s no surprise that he has attracted the attention of Barcelona, as per the report, but it seemingly doesn’t make too much sense that they suggest it could be a concern for Pique.
While he will turn 32 next year, he has a lot left in the tank. However, it’s undoubtedly sensible long-term planning to have a player ready to step in during a transitional phase rather than panic and sign someone if he suffers a dip or needs to be replaced immediately.
Perhaps the biggest stumbling block will be if Skriniar is willing to be patient at the Nou Camp and fight for his place having been a regular in Italy with Inter and Sampdoria previously.