Barcelona could have a headache on their hands this summer amid ongoing speculation over a key exit, but it’s claimed Lionel Messi knows a replacement wants to join.
The Catalan giants have the second best defensive record in La Liga this season, and the partnership developed between Samuel Umtiti and Gerard Pique has been a key factor in that.
However, according to Don Balon, as re-reported by The Express, not only are there doubts over Umtiti’s future at the Nou Camp, but Messi is said to be aware that Marquinhos is eager to fill that potential void as he wants to join the La Liga leaders.
Any such move would be complicated though, as Real Madrid are also specifically mentioned in the report as being interested in the Paris Saint-Germain defender.
It’s unclear as to how accurate the claim of Messi’s knowledge of the situation is as Don Balon are known for their sensational transfer claims, but it’s certainly true that both Barcelona and Madrid could do with reinforcements in that department of their respective squads given the lack of quality depth in defence.
In turn, it would be a sensible decision for either to bolster their options with Marquinhos, with the 23-year-old continuing to impress for PSG, having made almost 200 appearances for the club since he joined from Roma in 2013.
His quality was obvious as early as his short spell in Italy, but while he’s managed to collect quite the trophy haul in the French capital, PSG continue to fall short in Europe.
A move to either Barcelona or Real Madrid would certainly help the Brazilian international achieve his likely ambition of winning the Champions League, but it remains to be seen who wins this transfer battle if he can of course be prised away from Paris.
Messi reportedly knows Barca have the edge, and potentially losing Umtiti this summer would surely speed the process up of bringing in a replacement significantly as Yerry Mina and Thomas Vermaelen can’t be considered reliable long-term alternatives at this point.